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‘Flip-flop’ on 100th, 101st streets

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Twenty two years after it was first suggested, the idea of reversing the direction of traffic on 100th and 101st streets, between Fort Hamilton Parkway and Fourth Avenue, has resurfaced, with residents of 100th Street asked for relief from the incessant vehicular onslaught they experience.

The block’s residents began their campaign to lessen the burden on their street at the beginning of the summer, sending a petition to Community Board 10 that set out the problems they face and requested the rerouting.

The issues, according to the block’s residents – who attended a meeting organized by Community Board 10 to air the matter — are many and varied.

While many trucks use their street in order to access Fort Hamilton, the longer ones have difficulty both when they navigate 100th Street and when they make the right turn at Fort Hamilton Parkway, the residents said during the Traffic and Transportation Committee meeting held last week at the Fort Hamilton Senior Center, 9941 Fort Hamilton Parkway.

As a result, parked cars are being damaged, traffic backs up, residents have difficulty getting out of their driveways, and infrastructure such as 100-year-old water mains and sewers is impaired, they said.

“It generally poses a danger,” contended Robert Merli, who lives on 100th Street. “There are a lot of families with young children. People don’t observe the 20 MPH sign. We feel 100th Street is really taking the brunt of the traffic. It’s a narrow street, narrower than 101st Street or Marine Avenue.”

“I’ve counted the cars,” added Soo Sung Wong-Merli. “I’ve seen that, when the light changes on Fourth Avenue, there are 10 or 12 cars turning onto the block at one time.”

“It’s not only the trucks, it’s the cars,” added Camille DeFina.

“It’s an ongoing problem,” agreed Joseph DeFina. “They clocked 162 cars an hour coming down 100th Street, and it’s worse than that since they changed the entrance to the fort. Two days ago, a truck going to the fort barely made the turn. It was stuck for 45 minutes. The best thing is to change 101st Street.”

Residents of 101st and 99th Streets, however, objected strenuously to the idea of reversing the direction of their streets.

“I sympathize with you because I see the traffic on your street and on our block,” remarked Ben Deseta, who lives on 99th Street. “But, I don’t think turning the block around is going to divert the traffic.”

“I appreciate the problem you’re having on 100th Street,” added 101st Street resident Ray Pucci, “but I don’t think that’s the solution. How about a sign put at Fourth Avenue and 100th Street saying no commercial traffic. Then, they would have to go to Marine Avenue.”

“We have noise from the bridge,” added Lucille Pucci. “Is my reward for putting up with that noise to have more noise coming down my street?”

It would be 99th Street that would “bear the most burden” should the direction of traffic be reversed on the streets, added Doris Cruz, a CB 10 members who lives on that block. “These are old, narrow blocks. The most important thing is to have the truck routes marked.”

Among the suggestions was that Fort Hamilton should revamp its entrance and exit to make the Seventh Avenue gate its main gate.

“I don’t think they’re going to change 101st Street from being the main gate,” replied Cathy Santopietro, the community relations officer for Fort Hamilton.

Santopietro did say, however, that the fort would try to work with residents to ease their problems. “Are we close-minded to any of your suggestions? No. We want to make it work,” she told the group.

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