City Councilman Michael Nelson is tired of hitting traffic a block away from his office, and now he’s demanding the Department of Transportation rewrite the rules and convert Voorhies Avenue into a one-way strip.
Tired of getting bogged down on Voorhies Avenue between Ocean Avenue and Sheepshead Bay Road, Nelson asked Community Board 15 at their Tuesday night meeting to join him in pressuring the city to alter that stretch to a one-way westbound street.
“Since I’m there a lot, in particular it irks me,” said Nelson, whose 1605 Voorhies Avenue office is within spitting distance of the congested roadway. “It takes me 15 minutes to go down, then 20 minutes to get a spot at the parking lot. I could’ve gone from here to, like, East Meadow, Long Island, or something.”
It’s the second time since the councilman moved from his Nostrand Avenue offices to Voorhies Avenue in January 2010 that he’s taken an interest in traffic affairs there. In November, he tried to ease traffic by getting the DOT to install “Keep Intersection Clear” signs at Voorhies Avenue and East 18th Street. At that time, his press release noted, “Having also personally been stuck in traffic in this area, Councilman Nelson immediately contacted the Department of Transportation to investigate this location.”
The councilman will ask DOT to look into making Voorhies a one-way street, from Ocean Avenue to Sheepshead Bay Road – “if not further.” But he noted that converting it from Sheepshead Bay Road to Shore Parkway may cause problems for those exiting the Belt Parkway. Drivers exiting the highway and need to head east would have to go up the already congested East 14th Street and turn on either Sheepshead Bay Road or Avenue Z.
As bad as Voorhies Avenue is now, it may get worse, the councilman said. A three-story development is currently under construction at 1810 Voorhies Avenue. Documents for the building suggest it will be used for retail and a school, but a lawyer for the project told Community Board 15 that it will actually be a furniture store and medical offices. There will be no off-street docking area for trucks to unload furniture or patients to be dropped off, meaning more backups. The community board rejected the developer’s request on Tuesday to reduce the required parking, but the project will likely continue to go forward.
“If it’s bad now, it’s going to be horrendous,” Nelson said. “So for that alone we need to make it a one way street.”