Atlantic Avenue parking regulations

Finding parking on Atlantic Avenue will get a whole lot easier

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Atlantic Avenue will become a parking paradise and that’s easier for pedestrians to cross, say Boerum Hill neighbors and merchants who convinced the city to ease no-standing regulations on the busy roadway after nearly two decades.

The Department of Transportation finally agreed to remove signs barring parking during rush hour from the south side of Atlantic Avenue — freeing up about 100 new parking spaces between Smith Street and Third Avenue by converting a section of asphalt that was a part-time moving lane into a parking-only path.

Business owners are rejoicing, saying the years of watching their patrons rush out to beat the tow trucks that began circling in the afternoon were maddening.

“Everyone was getting towed, said Yip Mark, a restorer at Circa Antiques. “Exactly at 4 pm, the tow trucks were out there waiting.”

And supporters of the plan say it will also help pedestrians by reducing the number of lanes walkers must cross to get to the other side of one of Brooklyn’s most dangerous roads — where 88 percent of motorists exceed the speed limit.

Atlantic Avenue Betterment Association president Sandy Balboza said the removal of the no standing signs caps off a neighborhood movement that was her group’s marquee issue when it was founded back in 1994.

“We researched what the biggest issues were affecting the merchants and this was the biggest,” said Balboza.

Getting rid of the signs was anything but easy — Balboza said she pressed all possible avenues, but repeatedly met resistance from officials wary of slowing down rush-hour traffic.

But the Department of Transportation eventually changed its tune.

“New York’s streets are our front yards and the economic engines of our city,” said transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “Our streets need to keep pace with the changes we’re seeing in neighborhoods like Boerum Hill.”

Supporters of the plan say it won’t make traffic any worse on Atlantic Avenue because the old parking regulations never really did what they were intended to anyway.

“There’s always someone parked in that lane anyway,” said Ashley Thompson, spokeswoman for Councilman Steve Levin (D–Boerum Hill). “It was not a viable lane. So why not just let people park there legally?”

To keep the new parking lane from constricting traffic, transit officials extended the length of green lights for Atlantic Avenue drivers at the corner of Flatbush and Fourth avenues, and barred left turns for eastbound drivers at Smith Street during rush hour and at Bond Street at all times, and for westbound drivers at Hoyt Street at all times.

These changes come just days after the Department of Transportation signed off on a traffic-calming measure that will reduce the speed limit from 30 to 20 miles per hour in the largely residential area bounded by, but not including Smith Street, and Union, Third, and Atlantic avenues.

The “slow zone” approval — which comes two months before the Barclays Center arena opens nearby — is intended to keep drivers from using the neighborhood as a short cut to and from the East River bridges.

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Reader Feedback

da editah says:
Multiple factual errors in this story.
July 20, 2012, 9:35 am
Ken from Greenpoint says:
Bloomberg is not getting another term..
July 20, 2012, 10:01 am
ty from pps says:
Ken - is there any meaning behind that cryptic comment? Or just like writing sentences?
July 20, 2012, 10:34 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Now, I hat to say this, and I don't want to use foul language, but this article is filled with malarkey. I'm afraid I don't think the headline is a true statement. I hate to be the one to say this.
July 20, 2012, 11:08 am
keith from Clinton Hill says:
ty- the point that Ken is making that Bloomberg is trying to change his image by freeing up about 100 new parking spaces...
July 20, 2012, 11:09 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
a lane of parking helps pedestrians until an SUV with tinted windows is parked at the edge.
July 20, 2012, 12:09 pm
sid from boerum hill says:
congrats Sandy its been a long time coming.

now Steve needn't worry about his car being towed.
July 20, 2012, 12:44 pm
ty from pps says:
Well, Keith, if that's the point Ken is making... well, that's just dumb. No matter what change Sadik-Khan makes, there's someone to say she's an evil-doer. Adding parking, taking away parking, adding bike lanes, widening roads, narrowing roads, widening sidewalks, adding a plaza, making a street one-way, adding a light, taking away a light...

This is good for the businesses and pedestrians on Atlantic, but the drivers who don't want to park will be all up in arms because a travel lane has been taken away (even though it's not actually true since cars are always there anyway). Like when they reduced Ocean Avenue in Flatbush from 4 narrow lanes to two (plus turning lanes at intersections), drivers freaked. But it has actually made traffic move MUCH smoother and faster.

There is no winning in this city of irrational, self-entitled buttheads. You just have to go ahead and act if you are the DOT Commissioner or Mayor... use data and science to make your decisions and ignore the idiots. Then, watch the injury and fatality rates drop, increased foot traffic for local businesses, more pleasant experiences for everyone outside of a car, more regular and predictable traffic patterns... but still have to listen to all of the douchebags because they can no longer drive 55 mph on city streets or weave from lane to lane recklessly. It's a brutal job, for sure.
July 20, 2012, 1:03 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Well said, Ty.
July 21, 2012, 9:16 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I don't see what is wrong with putting parking spaces on that stretch. I have seen this part of Atlantic Avenue, and there are many other blocks where parking is allowed, though some of it is metered. Atlantic Avenue is wide enough to have a parking lane on either side there. Besides, a number of parking spots have already been taken away throughout the city only to be replaced by rarely used bike lanes. Then again, to some, anything that is good for us motorists is always bad your camp hence the anti-car bias that some of you constantly have.
July 21, 2012, 4:10 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- What the hell are you even reacting to??! There are no comments suggesting this is a bad thing. You're such a friggin' dumb nut job. (btw, it's not about adding or taking away the parking lane... it's about removing the rush hour restriction.)

Seriously, just focus on your masturbation skills in your mom's basement. It's a much better use of your time. By the way, do you think you'll ever move out of your parent's house?
July 21, 2012, 4:41 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, you need to go back to your anger management classes. Also, you really need to have someone wash your mouth. Perhaps, I will help you on that. I think that the rush hour restrictions should be removed, because it will make the streets less confusing. Seriously, you really do need to take a chill pill.
July 21, 2012, 5:31 pm
ty from pps says:
HaHaHaHaHaHa! The irony of his own statement is lost on the Nutjob from Pleasantville.
July 21, 2012, 6:52 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Do you know the phrase "tilting at windmills"? Look it up. It describes you.
July 21, 2012, 6:55 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, do you know how to talk without being offensive or even hostile in that matter?
July 22, 2012, 12:45 pm
ty from pps says:
No... not with you.
July 22, 2012, 7:25 pm
S from PPW says:
Brilliant move on DOT's part: pit motorists who want to go fast against motorists who want to look for parking. Finally they can figure out that cars are the source of congestion, not cyclists and pedestrians.
July 22, 2012, 8:08 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
S, majority of bike lanes in NYC, both protected and painted, tend to go unused, and many of the streets that have tend to face congestion when they didn't before, so it's still proven that bike lanes and other forms of traffic calming do cause congestion.
July 23, 2012, 12:25 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Just because you keep saying stupid things doesn't make them true.
July 23, 2012, 6:29 pm
bkdude64 says:
ty, when are you going to meet with tal already?
July 23, 2012, 6:34 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

I am glad you visited.
Aug. 18, 2012, 8:22 pm

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