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Another civic group blasts city plan to remove traffic lanes

Brooklyn Daily
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A Bensonhurst civic panel slammed a city plan that would remove two lanes of traffic from a pair of busy intersections, saying that it would bottleneck traffic and create chaos at corners that are not as dangerous as the city claims they are.

The Department of Transportation wants to remove two lanes of traffic on Stillwell Avenue from Bay Parkway to 86th Street and on Avenue P from W. 12th Street to Dahill Road in order to widen the parking lane to accommodate double-parked vehicles. The city also plans to install traffic calming measures like neck-downs, which extend sidewalks further into the street; traffic islands; left-hand turn lanes; longer red lights; and high-visibility crosswalks to several spots in the area.

But Community Board 11 panned the proposal at its meeting earlier this month, saying the lack of lanes would bring traffic to a standstill.

“What they’re doing is bottle-necking traffic until you can’t move people or goods anymore,” said CB11 District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia.

The street currently has a 19-foot moving and parking lane and an 11-foot moving lane in each direction. But under the city’s plan, the parking lane would be reduced to 14 feet and the driving lane would be shrunk by one foot to accommodate 12-foot islands with tree planters and left-hand turning lanes.

The city claims the areas are among the borough’s most dangerous for pedestrians — especially senior citizens, many of whom take longer to cross the street.

But Elias-Pavia said that traffic is already so bad, cars can barely hit the speed limit.

“The roads are in such poor condition that people couldn’t go over 30 miles-per-hour without killing their car,” she said. “They said it was a high-ranked corridor [in terms of how dangerous it is] but there is a traffic signal on every corner.”

The board backed the other changes, but said that removing the lanes was a non-starter.

The reaction to the plan in Bensonhurst follows a similar proposal in Bay Ridge — one that was also blasted by the community board there.

Scott Gastel of the Department of Transportation said that the city has not decided yet whether it will remove the lanes, and plans to discuss it further with the community board.

Reach reporter Dan MacLeod at or by calling him at (718) 260-4507. You can also follow his Tweets at

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Reader Feedback

Ace from New Utrecht says:
Community Board 11: get out of your cars for a moment and see what it is like to cross Bay Parkway to get to the Seth Low Playground. Cars are always exceeding the speed limit as they zoom through the crosswalk as they exit the speedway called Stillwell Avenue.

Anyone who spends any time walking around in Brooklyn knows that these measures work! I frequently cross Flatbush and Ocean to enter the Botanic Garden and the sidewalk expansions there are wonderful.
Oct. 31, 2011, 10:15 am
Bay ridge parkway from bensonhurst says:
you don't know what your talking about, befor they made that island and left lane on stillwell and ave p traffic flowed just fine, i go to work that way everyday before that, now i take a different route,they dont have a light to make a left on ave. p so u wait for two lights, if the right side is clogged you can't get to the lane to make a left and get stuck in the middle of bay parkway and bay ridge parkway, and as for the right lane has to make rights haha thats a joke, they go right into bay ridge parkway from the right, they made a complete mess at ave.p not to mention when the crossing guard has to cross people, oh and lets not forget the you can't make a left on ave.p so the people go to baY parkway and the line is down to ave p because they have to stay on the left to go straight and cant get over. and none of the lights are in syc so then you get stuck in the middle of ave p because the light turns red, MUST I GO ON, then you got the people making illegal lefts on ave. p and holding up more traffic, dot, go watch that street, they can make 1 million in tickets there if a cop stayed there all day. no one can speed there, trust me, i live there the traffic is so backed up sometimes up to 21st a ve where i live
Sept. 5, 2012, 8:58 pm

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