Efforts to improve traffic conditions within the confines of Community Boards 11, 13 and 15 hit a brick wall last week when outraged residents said absolutely “no way” to many of the proposed changes.
New York City Department of Transportation planners are recommending a plethora of changes they hope will address traffic concerns at over 50 intersections stretching from Kings Highway to Brighton Beach Avenue and Coney Island Avenue to Bay Parkway.
The most incendiary idea by far, however, is a proposal to extend the B74 bus from Coney Island all the way to Manhattan Beach.
“We already have two existing bus routes that operate in a manner that is horrendous,” Manhattan Beach Community Group (MBCG) Vice−President Bunny Fleischer jeered. “We would never entertain another.”
Fleischer joined other outraged residents from Manhattan Beach at Coney Island Hospital last week to hear the DOT’s pitch.
Angry neighbors complained that the meeting was the first time they had heard about the proposed traffic changes.
“We never heard about it, and I’m the one person who should know,” said Judy Baron, head of the MBCG’s transportation committee.
MBCG President Ira Zalcman said that his group definitely opposes the B74 “coming through” Manhattan Beach.
In addition to extending the B74, the DOT is proposing a slew of other traffic adjustments like tweaking signal timing, instituting new street markings and converting traffic flow.
Five intersections − Ocean Parkway and Neptune Avenue, Coney Island Avenue and Avenue Z, Coney Island and Neptune Avenue, Coney Island Avenue and Guider Avenue, and Cropsey Avenue and Bay Parkway were found to have 30 or more accidents annually.
But local activist Ida Sanoff chided the DOT for not considering the impact major projects − like the new waste transfer station at Shore Parkway − will have on traffic conditions.
“You need to be aware of these major projects if you’re going to give us an overall traffic plan,” she said.
To calm the flow of traffic, DOT envisions new bike lanes along Neptune Avenue from West 16th Street and Stillwell Avenue, as well as West Avenue and West 5th Street.
Other traffic proposals include instituting parallel parking along Neptune Avenue, moving the bus stops near the convergence of Avenue X, McDonald Avenue, Shell Road and 86th Street, and installing a pedestrian fence outside the Stillwell Avenue subway Station on Surf Avenue.
The DOT would also like to create more truck loading and unloading stations on Kings Highway, Brighton Beach Avenue and 86th Street.
That part of the plan concerns Community Board 11.
— Additional reporting by Helen Klein.