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July 27, 2010

"Temporary Change of Traffic Pattern on Flatbush Avenue" means one lane will be closed at least 17 months; did ESDC bury the real reason for change?

Atlantic Yards Report

The Empire State Development Corporation yesterday sent out a Community Notice (embedded below) announcing a "Temporary Change of Traffic Pattern on Flatbush Avenue" that will begin on August 1 and affect the area between Atlantic Avenue and Dean Street, a western boundary of the Atlantic Yards project.

Temporary? It will last at least 17 months, through early 2012. That's on the extended side of "temporary."

Change of traffic pattern? That means that one of six lanes on Flatbush will be closed. A "reversible center lane [will] provide a third travel lane in the peak direction." Expect new No Standing Anytime signs and traffic agents will be assigned to facilitate the flow of traffic.

(Click on graphic to enlarge)

Burying the real reason?

According to the notice, the work aims "to accommodate upgrades to the MTA vent structures along Flatbush Avenue."

Sure, but that seems to be the secondary reason.

According to the June 2009 Technical Memorandum, excerpted below, the vent structure upgrades were driven by the need to build a lay-by lane, thus allowing for "pick-up/drop-off and loading/unloading activity adjacent to the arena."

Was this predicted?

Was all this expected? Not really (as far as I can tell), which means the impact on traffic was not studied in the November 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

article

Click here to see a PDF version of the Empire State Development Corporation's "COMMUNITY NOTICE: Temporary Change of Traffic Pattern on Flatbush Avenue."

Additional coverage...

The Brooklyn Paper, Flatbush to get ‘narrow’ minded during arena construction

The area around the new home of the Brooklyn Nets will be anything but a slam dunk for drivers next month as Flatbush Avenue will be narrowed to accommodate construction workers.

The six-lane road will be squeezed to five lanes between Atlantic Avenue and Dean Street, and the center track will run in the peak direction — towards the Manhattan Bridge during the morning rush, and away from it the rest of the day.
...

ESDC spokeswoman Beth Mitchell said that traffic agents will be dispatched to make the three block lane loss as painless as possible.

“Traffic agents will be there as long as the [city] Department of Transportation determines they are necessary,” Mitchell said.

Expect those agents to keep busy. The area is constantly jammed, mostly due to car traffic, but congestion has also been exacerbated since the one-block portion of Fifth Avenue between Flatbush and Atlantic avenues was eliminated. That roadway was a key part of the B63 bus line. Now, Downtown-bound buses must turn from Fifth Avenue onto Flatbush Avenue and then block traffic as they wait to turn left at Atlantic Avenue.
...

A southbound bus stop for the B41 and B67 will also be eliminated at Fifth Avenue as part of the construction.

NoLandGrab: This ought to be fun.

Posted by eric at July 27, 2010 10:32 AM