Brooklyn Community Board 6 voted 18 to 9 (with 5 abstentions) against the Department of Transportation’s proposed safety overhaul for 4th Avenue on Thursday, a move that came as somewhat of a shock considering the design was well received by the board’s Transportation Committee during the May 16 presentation.
In a resolution released by CB6 chairman Daniel Kummer on Friday, though, the board explained that they have recently encountered a number of local residents who feel the proposed changes, especially a series of complete left-turn bans and the idea of reducing traffic from 3 lanes to 2, would cause more harm than good to the already troublesome area.
“A number of our members,” the resolution stated, “were strongly concerned that such a radical change of traffic patterns would detrimentally affect mobility and local access on a neighborhood-wide scale, impacting not only residents and visitors to the neighborhood, but also local businesses and their suppliers.
“In addition,” the board continued, “there are justifiable neighborhood concerns about potential traffic spillover onto side streets, such as 1st, 5th and 10th Streets, which would become alternative routes for neighborhood ingress.”
Despite voting down the measure, the resolution does acknowledge that changes are needed along 4th Avenue, but they’re hoping for a an approach that isn’t quite so severe.
“We urge the department to first attempt less extreme remedies that would enhance safety while preserving existing traffic patterns,” wrote the board, “such as the use of phased left-turn signals (particularly at 3rd and 9th Streets), turning bans that are limited to certain hours on weekdays, and/or physical alterations to the intersection geometries.”
A number of residents took to Twitter in the wake of the CB6 decision to express their disappointment, including Councilmember Brad Lander, who vows to keep pushing the project forward.
We did spot at least one resident, though, who appears to be in full support of the CB6 decision.
It should be noted that the Department of Transportation does not need the board’s approval to proceed with the 4th Avenue changes, so it is possible that the proposal will still go forward.
We want to hear from you, though, neighbors. Is Community Board 6 way off base with their decision, or are they truly representing the opinions of our Slope community?