Archive for the tag 'department of transportation'
The New York City Department of Transportation on Friday announced 14 new “arterial slow zones,” major corridors that will see speed limits slashed by five miles per hour as part of the Vision Zero initiative. Coney Island Avenue and Flatbush Avenue are both on the list, with implementation to begin this fall.
The first slow zones were implemented yesterday on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx and 7th Avenue in Manhattan, the first phase of the program. The speed limits will be lowered to 25 miles per hour from 30, with new “distinctive” signs with blue-and-white coloring and the name of the corridor to complement the DOT’s existing Neighborhood Slow Zone program. Alongside the signage, the streets will see increased police enforcement and temporary lighted speed boards.
The entirety of Coney Island Avenue will be converted to a slow zone in September, with Flatbush Avenue from Concord Street to Hendrickson Place (near the Belt Parkway) to follow in October.
The program is part of the Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities citywide. Ultimately the agency will create a total of 25 arterial slow zones, according to the Vision Zero website.
Arterial roadways make up only 15 percent of the total road system but account for 60 percent of the fatalities, according to the DOT. These 14 corridors make up only 65 miles of roadway, but account for 83 fatalities.
Coney Island Avenue is 5.5 miles long, and accounted for six fatalities between 2008 and 2012, while Flatbush Avenue is 7.1 miles long and accounts for 11 fatalities.
Local pols are praising the measure, saying it will help reduce deaths at some of their district’s busiest intersections.
“Coney Island Avenue has long been a dangerous thoroughfare for seniors and others attempting to cross with a constant flow of traffic whizzing by. I’m pleased that the city is implementing these forward-thinking measures that will succeed in calming traffic and, most important, saving lives,” said Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz, in a DOT press release.
“Improving safety on our streets benefits all New Yorkers, and anyone who has crossed Coney Island Avenue knows how hectic and dangerous it can be. I am very pleased that pedestrian safety continues to be a priority for our city and that one of southern Brooklyn’s busiest streets is included in this plan,” said Councilman Mark Treyger in the same press release.
“This second phase of Vision Zero being implemented along Coney Island Avenue is an indication that my voice, in advocating for traffic calming measures, was heard,” said Councilman Chaim Deutsch, also in the press release. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for improving the safety of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists throughout my district.”
City Agrees To Nix Nostrand Ave Bus Lane Violations After Finding Backlog – Here’s How To Fight Your Ticket
The B44 Select Bus Service route on Nostrand Avenue became the latest in the city to feature camera-enforced bus lanes, but a snag in mailing out violations and the functioning of the cameras themselves has caused drivers unaware of the new restrictions to receive dozens of violations months after the incident.
The Department of Finance and Department of Transportation conceded that the agencies had failed to send out the tickets in a timely manner, catching drivers unaware and allowing them to repeat the mistake.
Councilman Chaim Deutsch won the concessions from the agencies, who are now agreeing to suspend mailing and to review all violation that occurred on the route between March 17 and July 25. Motorists will still be fined, but only for the first violation they received, and refunds will be issued to those who have already paid.
“When people get a violation, it’s to educate them that they did something unlawful and they have to stop,” Deutsch told Sheepshead Bites. “Having it come to them three or four months later doesn’t serve that purpose. Given that it’s the newest SBS bus lane, a lot of people still don’t understand how it should be used even though there are signs posted.”
Deutsch said the cameras were also taking multiple photos of the same vehicles, causing additional violations for the same incident. He said the DOT has corrected that problem.
During active hours, a vehicle may only enter the bus lane to make a right turn, drop off passengers, or make or receive a delivery. More about bus lanes can be found in this DOT handout.
The violation carries a $125 fine, but with motorists unaware of the changes and not receiving the summonses promptly, they were fined multiple times. Deutsch said one constituent received approximately $7,000 in fines. He added that about two dozen constituents have already reported this problem to him, “but there’s a lot more.”
Camera enforcement on the route will remain in effect, but the agencies said they will go through their records and contact those who received multiple violations. If you think you’re one of them, you can speed up the process of having the summonses tossed or receiving a refund by calling Deutsch’s district office at (718) 368-9176.
Alternate side parking regulations are suspended Monday through Wednesday, July 28 to 30 for Eid al-Fitr, and there will be no street cleaning on those days.
All other regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and is celebrated by Muslims worldwide. After fasting from dawn to sunset the previous month, Muslims are not permitted to fast during Eid al-Fitr and usually attend large celebrations full of food and gifts. It’s one of the most important festivals on the Islamic calendar.
You can download your own 2014 Alternate Side Parking Suspension calendar from the NYC DOT’s website.
When we told you last month about the interactive Vision Zero map the Department of Transportation launched, there were just a few user-created bubbles identifying local traffic safety issues in our area. There’s a bunch more now, which we’ll take full credit for, but our neighborhood still pales in comparison to the contributions of northern Brooklyn neighborhoods and Bay Ridge.
C’mon, guys. Are we really going to let Bay Ridge and Fort Greene hog all that DOT attention? No way!
Fortunately, there’s still some time to share our complaints. Neighbors have until July 31 to add intersection-specific concerns.
Overall, the map has received more than 7,500 tips from around the five boroughs. The information will be used for traffic planning to ease congestion and make streets safer for everybody – drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, alike. From a DOT statement:
Input is vital, especially from those familiar with local traffic conditions and people’s behavior. The comments will be used to shape robust borough-specific traffic safety plans that will guide future work as part of Mayor de Blasio’s goal to eliminate traffic fatalities.
To add a complaint to the map, click this link, zoom in to the area, and click on an intersection as identified by white bubbles. The map will then split to a street view, and in the bottom left there’s a button that says “Share an issue.” Click that, and fill out the form that pops up.
That’s it! The tool lets you share concerns about a host of issues, from speeding and red-light running, to bad biker behavior, and intersections where it just takes too darn long to cross the street.
Remember, as in all things city government-related, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. And we like grease. So squeak away.
Back in April, the city launched an interactive Vision Zero map for neighbors to get involved with making street conditions safer. The map allows you to pinpoint problematic roads and intersections, reporting a range of conditions including double parking, frequent speeding, irresponsible cycling or even crosswalk timers that take too darn long.
Reader Daniil S. put it back on our radar this week, causing us to note that, well, no one in Southern Brooklyn appears to be paying attention. Dots cover the map in Manhattan and northern Brooklyn, but scrawl down to below Avenue H and there’s hardly a single report.
That’s cause for concern, because its the frequent cry of both drivers and pedestrians in Southern Brooklyn that the Department of Transportation goes ahead and implements plans from the top down, implementing ideas that may work well for midtown Manhattan but not so much for quiet, residential and car-dependent neighborhoods. And, yet, when given the opportunity to map out where the real problems are… nothing?
Daniil writes, “If you can encourage everyone on the blog to tag our intersections and we outnumber the other neighborhoods in the city in complaint count, it might just make our streets a bit safer.”
Indeed. Let’s give that a try. Find the map here.
After the Department of Transportation erroneously posted a sign on a residential stretch of Nostrand Avenue indicating two-hour metered parking, several nearby residents received wrongful summonses. Now Councilman Chaim Deutsch is leading the fight to get those tickets thrown out.
Deutsch announced the agency’s error at last night’s Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association meeting. He told Sheepshead Bites that a constituent alerted him to the signage late last week, saying that he received a summons. The sign was between Avenue P and Quentin Road, in front of 3032 Nostrand Avenue, an apartment complex. Deutsch’s office contacted the Department of Transportation, which admitted the error and ripped down the sign within 24 hours, he said.
Still, several residents of the apartment building have reported receiving similar summonses, said Deutsch.
“There’s more than one. We’re going to be hanging up some fliers in front of the buildings,” said Deutsch. “But it’s not just [residents], it could be people who came in and went shopping in the area, but there’s several people from the building that I know of that have received summonses
The agency is sending his office a letter for constituents to use to appeal the tickets, and staffers will be sending out e-mail blasts saying that the violations can be fought and, if already paid, potentially reimbursed.
Anyone who received a parking violation can get a copy of the letter and help filing an appeal by calling Deutsch’s district office at (718) 368-9176.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg stood at the base of the Coney Island Avenue overpass at Guider Avenue last Tuesday, as cars whizzed around her, made illegal turns, crossed into oncoming traffic and failed to get out of the way of emergency response vehicles. She stood there for approximately 20 minutes, visibly perplexed at the apparent lawlessness of one of Southern Brooklyn’s most convoluted intersections.
Trottenberg was there at the request of Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, alongside Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Joseph Palmieri and a handful of aides for each. She had already toured other problem spots in Manhattan Beach and said the agency would consider changes requested by the community, but the scene at this intersection – where Coney Island Avenue meets Guider Avenue, Banner Avenue, a service road and a Belt Parkway entrance ramp – prompted a more firm commitment.
“This one certainly,” said Trottenberg. “We have to do some major work here. It’s terrible.”
Within days, the commissioner had ordered a traffic study of the intersection, and Deutsch’s office confirmed that traffic engineers will visit the site to assess new traffic safety measures, including turn signals and medians.
Until more permanent changes are implemented, Deutsch worked with the agency and the NYPD’s Transportation Bureau and he 60th Precinct to bring traffic agents to the intersection. The agents deployed for the first time today, and will be there during peak hours, Deutsch told Sheepshead Bites this morning.
The councilman and the DOT hope the measures will go a long way to reducing traffic accidents at the location. Since 2014 began, there have been 11 collisions so far, including two pedestrians struck by vehicles and three occupant injuries, according to data obtained from the DOT by Deutsch’s office.
It’s not the first time local officials have raised issue with the intersection, or the DOT’s first stab at fixing it.
Community Board 15 has been a long-time advocate for improvements to the area, and was baffled in 2009 when the agency proposed a plan to reconfigure it that illustrated an utter lack of familiarity with the area.
A year later, then-Congressman Anthony Weiner also took the agency to task for the same plan. Both requested left-turn signals to restore order, but received a cold response from the former commissioner.
In the end of May 2012, the agency surprised locals by installing “No left turn” signs on southbound Coney Island Avenue. We stood there days later, and filmed car after car dangerously ignoring it in the span of just one minute.
As for the other sites that Trottenberg toured during her visit last week, the agency is studying some of the proposals, including turning Oriental Boulevard’s flashing yellow light at Ocean Avenue into a full-fledged traffic signal. Deutsch said he will work with the Parks Department to determine the feasibility of moving the Oriental Boulevard bike lane to the sidewalk on Shore Boulevard. A traffic study is also being ordered for Coney Island Avenue and Avenue O.
“I think it’s great that they came down here,” said Deutsch. “We had all three commissioners here to collaborate, and this is just the beginning.”
The first ever Sheepshead Stroll took place this Sunday drawing thousands of attendees, and highlighting local merchants through a block party atmosphere on Sheepshead Bay Road.
The Stroll is a local version of the Department of Transportation’s Weekend Walk initiative, in which the agency works with community partners to close down the road to traffic, and allows businesses to turn their storefronts inside-out for shopping, dining and entertaining. The event was hosted by Empower Sheepshead and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and sponsored by Sheepshead Bites, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, State Senator Marty Golden and the Kings Bay Y.
Blessed with beautiful weather, thousands came out for food samples, giveaways, kids entertainment, shopping and eating. Keep reading for the photo tour of the event.
Alternate side of the street parking regulations for street cleaning purposes will be suspended tomorrow and Thursday, June 4 and June 5 in observance of the Jewish holiday of Shavuos. All other regulations, including parking meters, shall remain in effect.
You can also check out the rest of the 2014 parking calendar here.