Bay Ridge

DOT reverses traffic direction on Bay Ridge street

Change will increase pedestrian safety, officials say

November 12, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Department of Transportation changed the direction of traffic on 89th Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues on Wednesday. A cone was placed in the street as a temporary stop-gap measure until permanent signage could be erected. A police car also blocked the street to prevent drivers from going the wrong way. Eagle photo by Paula Katinas
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Motorists who normally drive down 89th Street in Bay Ridge from Fifth Avenue to Fourth Avenue on Wednesday morning were greeted with a surprise: they could no longer proceed along their favorite route.

In a move designed to increase pedestrian safety at the busy intersection of Fourth Avenue and 89th Street, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) decided to reverse the flow of traffic on 89th Street so that traffic flows toward Fifth Avenue, not Fourth Avenue.

There are two schools located near the intersection: the P.S. 104 Annex, at 415 89th St.; and P.S. 264, at 371 89th St.; and officials were concerned about the safety of the students, according to Josephine Beckmann, district manager of Community Board 10 (Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights).

The traffic change became official on Nov. 12 and will be in place for the foreseeable future. DOT personnel and cops from the 68th Precinct were stationed on the block on Wednesday morning to ensure a smooth transition, Beckmann said.

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“The street direction reversal will create a ‘pedestrian only’ movement at the corner of 89th Street and Fourth Avenue for students attending both the PS/IS 104 Annex and P.S. 264. This change is part of the 4th Avenue redesign project to improve pedestrian safety at the intersection of 89th Street at Fourth Avenue,” Beckmann wrote in an email to community board members. 

A DOT spokesman confirmed to the Brooklyn Eagle that the traffic flow change was made for safety reasons.

Justin Brannan, communications director for Councilmember Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) said community residents had asked for increased safety measures at the heavily trafficked intersection.

“Councilman Gentile is very happy to see these much-needed safety improvements being made. This was already a very busy part of Fourth Avenue and now with P.S. 264, in addition to the P.S. 104 Annex, these school and pedestrian safety enhancements were very necessary. This is a perfect example of the community coming together. Suggestions were made to our office by residents and school parents, Councilman Gentile then worked with Community Board 10 and the Department of Transportation to see that these improvements were implemented, Brannan told the Eagle.

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