June 14, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
North Brooklyn streets will be seeing some major changes soon, as the city has proposed several redesigns and safety improvements to the area as part of two distinct projects.
Department of Transportation officials presented their proposals during Tuesday’s Community Board 1 meeting, noting that the changes were conceived after the agency’s North Brooklyn Traffic Study wrapped up earlier this year, and as part of mitigation work for the L train shutdown.
One of the two presentations focused entirely on the “six-legged” intersection of Lorimer Street and Bedford and Nassau Avenues in Greenpoint, just north of McCarren Park. The location includes a series of major fixes like curb extensions, one-way street conversions, bus stop changes, and bike lane improvements.
A significant painted curb extension will jut out from the north corner of Bedford Avenue and align parallel with Nassau Avenue under the agency’s proposal, which will create a continuous sidewalk from Lorimer Street to Manhattan Avenue.
Another curb extension has also been planned for the south side of Bedford Avenue, which would cover the slip lane currently there, where eastbound cars drive through. With the curb extension here, cars going this direction would instead go straight on Nassau Avenue instead of merging with Bedford Avenue traffic.
The DOT is also looking at converting the block on Bedford Avenue just before Manhattan Avenue to a one way northbound from the current two-way, as well at the block on Nassau Avenue between Guernsey and Lorimer Streets, also two-way, into one-way eastbound.
To better traffic flow, the DOT is planning on eliminating the two B62 bus stops on Bedford Avenue at Manhattan Avenue and on Lorimer Street, and replacing them with one stop instead at Nassau and Manhattan Avenue.
In addition, a shared bike lane will be installed in the bus stop between Manhattan Avenue and Leonard Street, and the Nassau Avenue bike lane will be painted out to continue to Manhattan Avenue.
The proposals at the six-legged area will add a total of 22 metered, off-peak, and overnight parking spaces on Bedford and Nassau Avenues, as well as new commercial loading zones.
The agency’s changes are meant to enhance pedestrian safety and provide better access to nearby G train stations, said Casey Gorrell, a DOT project manager. The changes will also enhance driver visibility and reduce confusion for all street users.
Community Board 1 members were largely for the changes at this corridor, but implored the DOT to do more outreach to businesses that may be affected by the changes. The agency, however, said it reached out to multiple businesses in the area, but did not receive responses from several places.
As for mitigation work prior to the L train shutdown, presented separately by another DOT official, the agency is primarily focusing on six sections through the length of Broadway from Flushing Avenue to Hooper Street, where changes are centered on improving access to the J, M, Z and G stations there.
Major changes at these sections also include one-way conversions, closing out slip-lanes, implementing large curb extensions, and more. For example, the DOT is proposing completely painting out the slip lane on Division Avenue at Hopper Street for pedestrians to walk over, and extending selected sidewalks with paint at just about every focus area.
In another plan, the agency is planning on extending the width of the zebra crosswalk at Flushing Avenue and Broadway so pedestrians can safely walk directly to the stairs at the J, M and Z station there.
Work on both projects will begin this summer and is expected to be completed by the fall, the DOT said.
The work will be completed before the Canarsie tunnel closes in April 2019 for 15 months worth of repairs.
For the full Bedford Ave- Nassau Ave plan in Greenpoint, click here.
For the proposals on Broadway as part of L train mitigation work, click here.