Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Streetsblog: drivers at Fourth, Flatbush, and Atlantic resigned to Merry Gridlock

During the rush hour last Thursday morning, Streetsblog editor Aaron Naparstek and StreetFilms' Nick Whitaker stationed themselves at the intersection of Atlantic, Flatbush, and Fourth avenues to check out a "Gridlock Alert Day" at one of the city's most congested intersections (video).

As Streetsblog states: After about 25 interviews with drivers it became pretty clear that if City Hall truly wants to reduce traffic congestion during the holiday season, it needs to do a whole lot more than just say, "Hey, everybody it's a Gridlock Alert!"

Streetsblog suggests taking a cue from London, which has implemented congestion pricing and even closes major shopping streets (though not necessarily an artery like Fourth Avenue) for holiday shopping.

However, as Naparstek declares near the end of the short film, "Pretty much everyone we're talking to says that the traffic congestion today is, as you expect, atrocious. Congestion pricing doesn't really seem to be on the radar out there at all. There seems to be this sense of resignation that this traffic congestion is sort of the natural order of things, and nothing can be done about it."

AY effect?

And he doesn't even mention the elephant at the edge of the intersection, the planned Atlantic Yards project, which would certainly exacerbate gridlock. The only hint: one frame capture some anti-Atlantic Yards art painted by Patti and Schellie Hagan of the Prospect Heights Action Council.

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