Bensonhurst residents don’t want to lose traffic lanes

Bensonhurst residents are fuming over a Department ofTransportation (DOT) proposal to reduce the number of lanes oftraffic on Avenue P and Stillwell Avenue.

If DOT gets its way, Avenue P between Stillwell and McDonaldAvenues as well as Stillwell Avenue between Bay Parkway and 86thStreet will have one lane of traffic going in each direction.Currently, there are four lanes of traffic – two in each direction– on both busy thoroughfares, which have many schools and city busroutes along the way.

Community Board 11 unanimously panned the proposal at itsmeeting last week.

It’s absolutely absurd, said CB 11 chairperson WilliamGuarinello, noting that the community must take a proactive insteadof reactive stance on this matter, much like it did regarding theproposed bike lane on Bay Ridge Parkway. While the board’s vote isadvisory only, the board won that decision.

We don’t want to have any more congestion than we already do,he added.

District manager Marnee Elias-Pavia agreed. We heard the boardloud and clear, she said. They supported other safetyimprovements, such as high visibility crosswalks, but rejected thisproposal.

Other residents vetoed the notion. It’s a bad idea, saidBensonhurst resident Jasmin Z., adding that the city should bepaying attention to other matters, such as litter and derelictlots. There is too much traffic and everything will be jammedup.

But pedestrians said it would make their lives simpler. Itwould be better, said Marco Meza, who was enjoying sunshine atnearby Seth Low Park with his young daughter. Crossing the streetwould be easier.

Monica, who did not want her last name to be used, agreed. I amalways with my baby and we take the bus, she explained. It wouldprobably make it easier to cross the street.

The community board vote in favor of a motion suggested byAssemblymember Peter Abbate to enforce height restrictions onvehicles parking on corners. If large cars or trucks are not parkedthere, visibility for both pedestrians and drivers is increased andthe number of accidents would be reduced.

Scott Gastel, a spokesperson for DOT, stated that no lanerestrictions have been finalized and said that the agency willcontinue to work with the community board.

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