POINT OF VIEW

Let's get it right the first time on Broadway

Posted

I have read numerous comments in your paper supporting the DOT plans for changes to Broadway. However, I was pleased with the community board’s decision.

The community board heard the voices and concerns of the entire community, and not just a select few. This is something that neither DOT nor our elected officials did when these changes were designed. The DOT and our elected officials were supposed to work in the best interest of all of those that would be affected.

The community board’s decision gives DOT and our elected officials an opportunity to get it right. For example, in my opinion, DOT’s proposal does not address the existing problem of traffic congestion and safety on Broadway, as it was clear from DOT’s own photos that they did not have a clue of the amount of traffic that travels Broadway as it is a main thruway. 

It seems to me that before any changes are made on Broadway, the parks department, the community board, elected officials and the police department need to establish a permanent solution to address the adverse traffic conditions created by permitted events year-round and the mass influx of people hosting barbecues in the park during the summer.

The proposal DOT submitted did not address this matter or consider the impact this phenomenon would have on Broadway or its side streets. Since the parks department has chosen to increase the issuance of permitted events, any change to Broadway must consider the impact it will have ton the quality of life of the residents. This plan seems to have deliberately ignored our ongoing issues and concerns.

Where will the cars and buses park for these events? Will it be in front of our driveways or block/prevent access to stores? With the current trend of double- and triple-parking on Broadway, won’t these lanes now increase the existing hazardous conditions by narrowing of lanes under this proposal’s directive?

Let’s talk safety. At these permitted events, thousands of children attend who are excited and often dart across the street seeking a cool drink, and can barely see around the congestion to get to the other side of the street. These changes will make it more difficult for these children to cross safely.

To that end, I am trying to understand why the cart, the DOT changes, was places before hitching the horse, solving existing long-standing problems on Broadway.

I also would like to understand why after years and years of complaints, no serious permanent actions have been taken to ease the ongoing congestion or unsafe conditions on Broadway? These issues will not be cured by a bike lane, narrowed lanes and bust stop changes, which are not travel-friendly to the elderly in my community, which I consider myself a member of. What I am most disturbed by is that the DOT and elected officials began this campaign several years ago without the benefit of feedback from the people that live and own business on Broadway.

We were not able to give DOT an actual understanding of the Broadway problem. If this had been done, DOT would have been able to draw up a plan that took in all parties’ concerns with an action plan that we all could benefit from. I applaud Community Board 8 for taking the steps needed to get it right, thereby asking that drafting a new/modified plan which offers benefits to all without trampling on the quality of life of the people who live on Broadway.

I also don’t understand why the suggestion submitted by the deputy inspector of the 50th Precinct has not been considered or implemented. While adding additional traffic lights will not prevent the type of fatalities that result from jaywalking or actions that are reckless, nor will a bike lane, narrowed traffic lanes, or changing bus stop configurations.

The additional traffic lights, however, will slow down incoming traffic from Yonkers as they have currently done with the two new traffic lights that have been placed on Broadway.

Let’s get it right the first time rather than adding an additional burden to the residents of Broadway.

Toni Butler,

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