Co-op Manager: New Clinton Street Configuration Increases Pedestrian Danger

Clinton Street bike lane, between Grand Street and East Broadway.

Clinton Street bike lane, between Grand Street and East Broadway.

Some people are concerned that the new traffic configuration on Clinton Street has made the stretch between East Broadway and Grand Street less safe. Recently, a two-way bike lane was created, narrowing the vehicle lanes. Frank Durant, general manager of the Seward Park Co-op, has sent a plea to local elected officials for help.

Those elected officials, including State Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, brought the issue of safety in this area to the attention of the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) many months ago. As a result, the bike lanes were expanded and the automobile corridor was narrowed as a “traffic calming” strategy. But the DOT rejected a request for a mid-block crosswalk.

Here’s part of Durant’s email:

Unfortunately nothing has been done to date and the DOT has made major changes to this area by installing a double-wide two lane bike lane, which we do support, but has definitely made our safety situation worse. Since the change, all that traffic was squeezed into two lanes, there have been several small accidents and the one that most recently (reported by The Lo-Down and then) covered by channel 2,7,10 & 11 news where an ice cream truck rammed 6 cars and a motorcycle and then ran through our fences and two highly trafficked pedestrian walkways… The enforcement of double parking is not happening, cars running through lights and crossing over both lanes and driving in the bike lanes is happening when Clinton is packed going to the Bridge. Before someone is seriously hurt, I am asking for help on behalf of the entire community and the 5,000 residents (of the co-op). I would appreciate any help you can (provide)… to (help) make our community safe.

Durant was scheduled to walk the area with cops from the 7th Precinct this afternoon to discuss enforcement. Earlier this year, Transportation Department officials said their study of Clinton Street showed there isn’t enough pedestrian volume to justify a mid-block crosswalk. In April, Community Board 3 asked the DOT to provide the data used to come to that conclusion. The city did not respond. Now local leaders are trying to re-engage the DOT concerning pedestrian safety in the area.

10 comments to Co-op Manager: New Clinton Street Configuration Increases Pedestrian Danger

  • dangler69

    This new configuration was not well thought out. As usual the “sacred cow” aka cyclists got what they wanted at the expense of both vehicles and pedestrians. I don’t think this configuration will serve them well though. With trucks loading and unloading at the supermarket and the post office and the narrow space, this new setup is more of a hazard than safe passage. Time will show what a bonehead of an idea this was.

  • aClownNamedHomey

    It seems with every poorly thought out promanades and bike lanes constructed throughout our neighborhood seems like an obvious attempt to purposely create congestion. Completely unnecessary ambiguous project completely disregarding residents needs for parking, traffic flow, and more importantly safety for our residents. Expect tolls throughout the city to justify traffic reduction stratigically implemented with these ridiculous projects.

  • Peter J

    A mid-block crosswalk is a great idea, but did Durant just try to blame the ice cream truck incident on this change? That’s just a bone-headed comment, but typical from the “bikes and change are evil” crowd. More bicycles and calmer traffic make for a better, safer city.

  • david

    I noticed a car pull up and stop in front of Square pizza (name?) near eastwood. There aren’t any dividers to twart people from doing dangerous things.

  • Sabina

    A mid-block crosswalk would be great, and it sure seems like there are enough people crossing mid-block to justify it.

    I think the new bike lane is going to help organize and calm the traffic on Clinton St once it is finished and everyone gets used to it. DOT hasn’t even finished painting the lane yet!

  • Christine

    Durant writes: “The enforcement of double parking is not happening, cars running through lights and crossing over both lanes and driving in the bike lanes is happening when Clinton is packed going to the Bridge.” Sounds like bad drivers are the ones causing the problems on Clinton Street.

  • LES AYM

    I was trying to let some elderly passengers out by the building. However now you can’t pull up to the curb. So when they got out of my car, my elderly family members were forced to dodge the bicycles zooming by!

  • david

    To think that people will suddenly not double park with all the deliveries, the bank, the post office and Fine Fare is a real dumb assumption with this design.

  • There’s no such thing as a bad bike lane! Cross at the intersection!

  • LES AYM

    I’m all for bike lanes, but common sense should not be thrown out in the process!

    1) As far as the midblock crossing. You have to be familiar with the neighborhood population.
    They are predominately elderly. Now for you or me, we just walk to the corner to cross the street.

    However these buildings are all affiliated with each other. When you’re 80 years old, for you
    to walk to the corner, crossover and then walk back down the block…..well
    you’ve just doubled the walking distance for them, especially if they use a
    cane or walker. I assume you would agree that it would be best to keep these
    people self sufficient and independent as long as possible.

    2) As far as the new layout goes.
    I’ve always been taught that for safety you don’t get out of a car on the traffic side, but get
    out on the curb side.

    So which side of the car should one who is not so agile get out from?

    Now this is even if you don’t own a car. If you use a car service or taxi, or the elderly using “Access A Ride”.

    Where would you like the vehicle to legally stop so the passengers can SAFELY get out?

    The problem now is that there is NO CURB SIDE!
    One side is cars the other side is bikes whizzing by!