Two busy Myrtle Avenue spots have recently gotten/are starting to get a bit more welcoming for pedestrians. Workers installed signage and set up cones last week at the new jughandle turn at Myrtle and Flatbush Avenues, and have painted initial markings, as the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership pointed out yesterday, for the forthcoming plaza between Hall and Emerson Streets.
The turn off of Flatbush Avenue aims to ease congestion and improve safety as drivers prepare to travel eastward on Myrtle. Previously, drivers simply turned left from Flatbush onto Myrtle–but with the new changes, they are forced to instead turn right and utilize a MetroTech service road to make a 180° turn.
An exception for the turn is made for buses, which a DOT representative said at a June Community Board 2 meeting would be able to trigger a green left turn arrow (this was proven true today, as we watched one SUV driver who looked about ready to ignore the “No Left Turn” sign be forced to simply sit and sit in the lane as the arrow refused to turn green). Driver confusion was a concern expressed by Downtown Brooklyn community members at the aforementioned meeting, which may lead to the jug handle plan being reversed. For now, the simple signs, paint, and cones placed in the service road make the new setup easily reversible if need be.
Farther up the thoroughfare is the forthcoming Myrtle Avenue Plaza, which the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership said previously would be getting underway in late summer or early fall 2014. Just in time, the DOT has painted markings on Myrtle’s service road between Hall and Emerson indicating how far out curbs will be extended–and in the next 18 months, neighbors can expect to see trees and other plants, benches and moveable seating, and more. Once the project is completed, plans are to hold programming on the plaza, as well as keeping it an everyday space for locals to relax and enjoy the neighborhood.
Bottom photo by the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership