Community Board 12 gave a resounding thumbs−down to the plan to turn its section of Church Avenue into a one−way westbound street.
The unanimous vote follows the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) coming to the community board and pitching the idea as part of their study of congestion on the Church Avenue corridor between Utica and McDonald Avenues for the past year.
Among the benefits of one−way traffic enunciated by DOT in a handout is the elimination of delays “to left turning vehicles waiting for gaps.”
In addition, the agency contended, “double−parking will cause less problems.”
While a one−way Church Avenue is “expected to attract westbound through traffic currently using Linden Boulevard⁄Caton Avenue to access Prospect Expressway,” DOT noted, “Most eastbound traffic to be diverted is local.”
CB 12 District Manager Wolf Sender said the long−term idea is to make all of Church westbound and Caton Avenue eastbound.
The Church Avenue corridor involves CB 12, 14 and 17, Sender said, and the westbound only traffic would likely be instituted between Ocean Parkway and Nostrand Avenue. The CB 12 portion of Church Avenue is only a small section running west from McDonald Avenue to Coney Island Avenue, he said.
“We voted against it for many reasons,” said Sender. “For one, the buses that use Church Avenue going both ways would have to be moved, and the DOT did not coordinate the study at all with the MTA.”
Sender noted that the study is in a very preliminary stage.
Besides the idea of reconfiguring the busy thoroughfare as a one−way street, DOT has come up with ways of redesigning various intersections to minimize traffic back−up, including adding dedicated right and left turn lanes in some places, installing “yield to pedestrian” signs at key locations, changing timing of traffic signals to allow for smoother vehicular flow and also to allow pedestrians to begin crossing prior to vehicles being given the signal to move, and prohibiting certain turns at specific locations.
Particular attention is being paid to Church Avenue’s intersections with McDonald Avenue, Beverley Road, Ocean Parkway, Coney Island Avenue, East 18th Street, Ocean Avenue, Flatbush Avenue, East 21st Street, Nostrand Avenue, New York Avenue and Utica Avenue.
At Coney Island Avenue, DOT proposes “removing Albemarle Road from the intersection” by blocking that street’s westbound lanes, and allowing only right turns from Coney Island Avenue.
At Church Avenue, the agency recommended dedicated left turn lanes from Flatbush Avenue, as well as 16−foot−wide parking lanes on Flatbush, to accommodate double parking.
©2009 Community News Group
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