Truck takeover of Dyker Heights spurs DOT action

October 4, 2019 Paula Katinas
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DYKER HEIGHTS — Residents who have complained to local officials about excessive truck traffic on their streets have been heard by the city’s Department of Transportation.

DOT has spent the past several weeks posting signs at key intersections in the neighborhood directing trucks to local truck routes to keep the big rigs off residential streets.

The signs have been put up at the following locations in Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge:

 •86th Street at Gatling Place,

 •86th Street at Fort Hamilton Parkway,

 •Fort Hamilton Parkway at 92nd Street,

 •Dahlgren Place at 92nd Street, and

 •81st Street at Seventh Avenue.

In addition, DOT plans to erect a sign at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 86th Street.

 “These new signs, coupled with appropriate enforcement, will help make Dyker Heights safer and more livable by providing greater clarification to direct truck traffic off of neighborhood streets and onto legal truck routes,” a DOT spokesperson told the Home Reporter.

 State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, who formed a pedestrian task force earlier this year to look into ways to make local streets safer, said he’s pleased to see the DOT take action.

“Illegal truck traffic coming off the highway is a huge problem in Dyker Heights. We need new signage that keeps truck traffic out of residential areas where children play, because it is a true safety hazard. I look forward to working with DOT to keep commercial trucks off residential streets,” Gounardes said.

But Gounardes added that signs pointing out the locations of truck routes might not be enough.

In a letter to DOT Brooklyn Commissioner Keith Bray, Gounardes wrote that a better solution might be to post “No Truck” signs to reinforce the message that trucks simply don’t belong on residential streets.

“Trucks regularly and brazenly drive down residential streets veering off the designated truck route, causing disturbances,” Gounardes wrote. “As streets become more congested, residents suffer.”

One Dyker Heights homeowner said her house shakes when trucks go by. “It’s scary,” she told the Home Reporter.

Truck traffic isn’t the only problem plaguing Dyker Heights.

The neighborhood also has had a high number of car crashes, according to Police Department statistics. In the space of one 24-hour period, on Jan. 14, 2019, there were 17 car crashes within the confines of the 68th Precinct, which covers Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge.

Alarmed by the high number of crashes, Gounardes formed the Southern Brooklyn Pedestrian Safety Task Force and brought residents together to take a deep dive into the problem and come up with ideas for solutions.

In the spring, Gounardes and Councilmember Justin Brannan held the press conference on 10th Avenue to call on DOT to install traffic-calming measures to make Dyker Heights streets safer for pedestrians.

“Stop looking and start taking action,” Brannan said at the press conference.

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