Owing to a steady influx of new residents, visitors and businesses, travel in North Brooklyn continues to become progressively more difficult, whether by car, bicycle, public transportation or on foot.
On Tuesday, New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Keith Bray joined Councilmembers Stephen Levin and Antonio Reynoso at the intersection of North 11th Street and Kent Avenue to announce plans for a comprehensive look at transportation throughout the North Brooklyn community.
For approximately the next 18 months, DOT will study the area’s travel needs, collecting data on traffic, turning and pedestrian counts at major corridors and intersections. It will look at all modes of transportation, focusing on street safety, accessibility, congestion, travel times and parking, as well as demographics, land use and zoning, safety, parking and the movement of trucks in the area.
The study, which comes with an estimated $500K tab, will be used to develop recommendations to mitigate congestion and enhance mobility and safety.
“Residents have been asking for this kind of study for years,” Levin said. “This neighborhood has changed in recent years and our approach to congestion and mobility needs to evolve with it for us to meet the needs of everyone in the community.”
As part of public outreach, DOT has established a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) that includes local elected officials, Community Board 1, Department of City Planning (DCP), New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), New York City Transit (NYCT), Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC).
DOT expects the involvement of these agencies will offset any discrepancies in the study caused by other agencies’ actions, such as the proposed rezoning of the Greenpoint/Williamsburg IBZ by the DCP or the addition of several hotels within the study area.
Local community members can participate through a minimum of three public meetings, which will correspond with study milestones.
“North Brooklyn residents have been asking for a comprehensive transportation study for years, so I’m very pleased to see this project finally beginning,” said Reynoso. “We have many issues that need to be addressed, including truck traffic, crowded trains and a constantly growing population without associated infrastructure improvements.”
The study area is bounded by Newtown Creek to the north and east, Flushing Avenue and Broadway to the south and the East River to the west (see map).
Data collection will last through Spring/Summer 2016, with DOT looking for summer and non-summer data. Final results and recommendations are slated for release by Fall 2017.