Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gridlock on Flatbush, sluggish on Sixth: congestion wrought by AY changes (and an improper truck route)?

Do traffic changes and congestion created by Atlantic Yards construction have spillover effects? One North Park Slope resident thinks so, and posted the video below, showing gridlock on Flatbush Avenue and Sixth Avenue yesterday morning.



The resident says that congestion on Flatbush, exacerbated by Atlantic Yards-related vehicles, has prompted additional traffic on side streets looking for shortcuts.

Moreover, the closing and demapping of Fifth Avenue north of Flatbush for the arena block has pushed additional traffic onto Sixth Avenue, which is now two ways north of Flatbush, as it always was below Flatbush.

Sixth Avenue a truck route?

The resident said he's seen many large trucks now using Sixth Avenue, especially demolition trucks coming south from the Atlantic Yards site. A police officer told him that the rules had been changed due to Atlantic Yards and that residential Sixth Avenue is now a permitted truck route.

Well, the Department of Transportation (DOT) lists mainly arteries like Flatbush, Atlantic, and Fourth avenues as truck routes, as well as a small stretch of Fifth Avenue and Bergen Street near the arena site (see graphic below).


Updated: Fifth Avenue is now demapped, so could it be that some slight portion of Sixth Avenue has become a truck route? No, Sixth Avenue, is not a truck route, the DOT confirms.

Beyond that, the resident observed, the new prohibition on left turns on Atlantic from Fourth has likely contributed to gridlock.

Note that at the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting last month, a DOT official said he thought Fourth Avenue, though not Third, had settled down--an observation with which not all present agreed.

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