At the end of May, the Department of Transportation surprised local drivers by installing a No Left / No U-Turn sign on southbound Coney Island Avenue at Banner Avenue.
And, just about every day since then, hundreds of cars have been ignoring it.
The installation comes more than two years after local leaders fought a similar measure to bar left turns onto Guider Avenue for drivers heading south on Coney Island Avenue, a proposal that resulted from a seven-year study of accidents in the area. Even former Congressman Anthony Weiner got in on that fight, firing off a letter to DOT Commission Janette Sadik-Khan.
Opponents of that plan said diverting southbound Coney Island Avenue traffic to Neptune Avenue is a danger for all. Traffic is already congested on Neptune Avenue, they argued, and bus stops on the corner will make matters worse. Drivers looking for the Belt Parkway will be forced to go down East 12th Street – which has no light or signal – or next to Bay Academy on East 14th Street, putting students at higher risk.
While that proposal – which also recommended the creation of a left-turn lane onto Guider Avenue for northbound drivers – appears to have quietly hit the back-burner, DOT just as quietly installed the No Left / No U-Turn sign at the end of May. Community Board 15 told Sheepshead Bites at the time that they were not notified about the changes.
Apparently, drivers aren’t paying much mind to it, holding up traffic to make the turn up Banner Avenue, or a U-turn up the service road to Shore Parkway and the highway.
Photo and video by Robert Fernandez.