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Traffic turning left of Manhattan Bridge plagues Concord St.

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Con-dis-cord Street: New Manhattan Bridge exit plagues residential road

Corner of chaos: Juliette Ibelli, Pat Gustaffson, and Juan Salazar at the corner of Concord Street and Flatbush Avenue Extension, which they say is a disaster area due to traffic coming off the Manhattan Bridge.
The Brooklyn Paper
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Things have taken a turn for the worse.

A city decision to allow traffic coming off the Manhattan Bridge to turn down a tiny Downtown street has transformed a residential road into a dangerous de facto off-ramp, and officials must close it again before someone gets hurt, say nearby residents.

“Somebody is going to get killed,” said Downtowner Juan Salazar, who lives near Concord Street — the troubled thoroughfare in question — and claims the stream of trucks and cars pouring off the bridge plague the narrow street with near-collisions and congestion around the clock.

Since October, drivers exiting the span have been allowed to turn left onto Concord Street at any hour of the day — where previously they could only do so during rush hour between 3:30 pm and 7 pm.

The local community board okayed the plan back in May, but some panel members now say they didn’t realize at the time that the street is home to several schools and a playground — or foresee the dangers the change would create for local drivers and youngsters walking to class, according to Salazar.

Members of Community Board 2’s transportation committee on Wednesday voted 6–3 with one abstention to rescind its approval for the 24-hour turn — and also asked the city’s transportation department to install signs, speed bumps, and cameras on Concord Street — after residents brought the issue to their attention.

The transportation department says it only made the permanent change in the first place because the neighborhood advisory panel requested it. A rep refused to say whether the agency would consider reversing course in light of the vote, but that it does plan to add more signs, signals, and “school safety measures” in the future.

Drivers veering left would have to take longer routes to Tillary Street or Myrtle Avenue if the city turns off the turn, but Salazar says drivers managed that just fine before October.

“It was never an issue, never a problem before, and people lived without a left turn,” he said.

Locals would like the city to ban the left turn altogether, but will probably settle for a return to permitting it between 3:30–7 pm, Salazar said.

The full community board will vote on the change at January’s meeting, but its judgement is only advisory, and the Department of Transportation will ultimately have to decide what to do.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511.
Updated 2:16 pm, December 18, 2015
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Reasonable discourse

deception from Brooklyn says:
The video is deceptive in nature as it doesn't show the right of way traffic till it's upon what was likely a careless and possibly an illegal maneuver by the bus.

There is not a school in the city that doesn't create traffic chaos putting our children and parents in harms way.

Address the poorly planned controls and safeguards of our schools and let the traffic flow.
Dec. 18, 2015, 2:01 pm
Ferken Deryan from boardwalk says:
"some panel members now say they didn’t realize at the time that the street is home to several schools and a playground —"

Decisions made by people who have never been there.

Nice work if you can get it.
Dec. 18, 2015, 3:29 pm
Kelly from Downtown says:
This short narrow residential street is now a highway off-ramp. Shame on the NYCDOT for putting the lives of thousands of students at risk (4 schools on this short street) plus a larget playground (for small children). Almost daily one reads about a fatality on the streets of NYC. Mayor Di Blasio and the DOT itself have been promoting Vision Zero. This recent change (October) never existed and I would like to think it is because there were responsible people at NYCDOT before. It is only a matter of time before a child is killed on this street...just stayed tuned. It may not be your child or relative but you will pay when the lawsuits start after a death (specially after the City has been put on Notice). Do something for the safety of school children NYCDOT!
Dec. 19, 2015, 9:20 am
Claire from Brooklyn says:
This matter is a prime example of the lack of accountability in our system. Someone (or more) ought to be fired at NYCDOT. It is just absurd that such dangerous conditions were created just 2 months ago without thinking of the consequences or knowing the facts.

But then again this is the same administration that was clueless about the homeless situation in NYC until the Mayor must have tripped over a homeless person. Wake-up Mayor and hire competent people to serve the city.
Dec. 19, 2015, 1:22 pm

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