1,000+ Local Residents Urge DOT to Fix Clinton Street Traffic Bottleneck

Grand Street near Clinton Street. Photo by Matt Marello.

Grand Street near Clinton Street. Photo by Matt Marello.

If you live near the intersection of Clinton and Grand streets, it’s impossible to forget that it’s is a dangerous and unpleasant area for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. Local residents want to make sure that officials at the city’s Department of Transportation don’t forget it, either.

Community activists last month sent a letter and petition with more than 1,000 signatures to DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. It urged the city to make changes on Clinton Street, where traffic leading onto the Williamsburg Bridge has grown significantly in recent years.

20170914_095007 (1)

After hearing from Community Board 3 and local elected officials earlier this year, the DOT began a traffic study to evaluate safety concerns and to determine how to alleviate the traffic bottleneck. Cars are routinely backed up on Grand Street for several blocks and on Clinton Street below East Broadway. Drivers lean on their horns out of frustration, disturbing people who live in the area late into the night.

The other day we heard from Matt Marello, who’s helped lead the campaign for change on Clinton Street, along with Doron Stember, board president of the Seward Park cooperative. On Aug. 23, they tell us, DOT responded to the letter, indicating that the study is ongoing and that it should be completed sometime during the fall.  Marello said Daisy Paez, a new district leader who lives in the Grand Street Guild apartments, led the effort to collect petition signatures. He also noted that Karen Blatt, former Lower East Side district leader, worked with the 7th Precinct to install an electronic sign on Grand Street that reads, “Please No Honking” and “Watch For Cyclists.” Advocacy efforts, and a direct plea to the mayor from Grand Street Dems member Tommy Loeb, led the city to place traffic agents at the intersection. 

In the letter, Stember, Marello and Paez wrote, “…we implore the DOT to find a viable alternative to the current Clinton Street entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge. (Grand and Clinton streets) have, in essence, become de facto ‘on ramps’… from FDR Drive… We trust that the DOT will take (our) concerns into consideration and will propose a resolution that improves safety and quality of life in our community.”

Here’s the full letter sent along with the petition:


Letter to DOT: Clinton Street Traffic by The Lo-Down on Scribd

Squadron, Fellow Elected Officials Urge Clinton/Grand Street Changes

clinton street traffic

State Sen. Daniel Squadron and other elected officials have sent a letter to the Department of Transportation (DOT), urging the city to do something about gridlock on Clinton Street.

Last month, local residents appeared before Community Board 3’s transportation committee to complain about ongoing safety and quality of life issues along Clinton, Grand and Delancey streets. The heavy traffic flow to the Williamsburg Bridge has become a major problem for the neighborhood. CB3 approved a resolution asking the DOT to conduct a traffic study in the area and to propose solutions.

In the letter to DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, the elected officials wrote:

We urge the Department of Transportation to conduct a traffic study at (the intersection of Grand and Clinton) to determine potential traffic improvement measures, including reducing congestion, increasing safety and improving quality of life. Clinton Street north of Grand Street is a narrow one-way street that doubles as the entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge for drivers exiting the southbound FDR Drive. There is inadequate space for cars waiting to enter the bridge, causing traffic to spill into the intersection of Clinton and Grand Streets. In addition to causing gridlock, vehicles frequently stop in the crosswalk, preventing pedestrians from crossing safely. Vehicles also attempt to make right turns from the left lane, crossing over a bike lane and creating a dangerous situation for vehicles and cyclists. The traffic pattern also is a major quality of life issue in the neighborhood. Nearby neighbors report loud honking at all hours due to the gridlock. The new development at Essex Crossing will only add additional stress and traffic to the street grid.

In 2012, the city reversed the direction of Clinton Street and prohibited southbound drivers on Essex Street from turning left on Delancey Street (this forced cars to turn on Broome Street in order to reach the bridge). The changes were made after 12-year old Dashane Santana was struck and killed by a minivan at the intersection of Clinton and Delancey streets, prompting a public outcry for safety improvements. The following year, in 2013, the city made some small adjustments in response to complaints about traffic congestion.

The Squadron letter was co-signed by Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

Pedestrian Safety Improvements: FDR Drive at Grand Street


The Department of Transportation is making pedestrian safety improvements on FDR Drive at Grand Street. Thanks to Council member Rosie Mendez for the head’s up about this one. You can see details in the flyer posted above.

Can We Say So Long to That Pesky Grand/Clinton Street Lake? Hopefully

Good Morning!

grand street fruit stand

Friday, April 17, 2015 | Today’s photo was taken on Grand Street at Clinton Street | Weather: Scattered showers and cloudy skies today with a high of 72. Mostly sunny tomorrow with a high of 77. A mix of sun and clouds on Sunday and 60 | Happening this weekend: The Love Saves the East Village benefit happens tomorrow from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at LaPalapa, 77 St. Mark’s Place | Send us your photos and tips | Subscribe to our daily newsletter.

Ferry Service is Coming to Grand Street on the Lower East Side

Grand Street Bank Robber Filmed Heist For Art Project

Car Jumps Curb at Essex and Grand Streets (Updated 1:59 p.m.)

Bicyclist Seriously Injured on Allen Street This Afternoon

Grand Street Water Main Project Shifts to Bowery-Essex Streets

Armed Robbery at Clinton and Grand Streets Early Sunday Morning

City Takes Steps to Relieve Clinton/Grand Street Gridlock

Back in June, Community Board 3 asked the Department of Transportation to fix the auto bottleneck at Clinton and Grand streets. This week, city officials came back to CB3 with a plan.

What Do You Think of the Changes at Grand & Clinton?

Clinton and Grand streets.

Clinton and Grand streets.

It’s been almost a year since the Department of Transportation began implementing safety improvements in the vicinity of Delancey Street.  At next month’s meeting of Community Board 3’s transportation committee, you’ll have the chance to tell city officials whether you think the changes are working. Specifically, the panel will be focusing on the situation at the intersection of Grand and Clinton streets.  As part of the safety plan, the DOT changed the traffic flow on this stretch of Clinton, allowing westbound traffic on Grand to turn right on Clinton in order to access the Williamsburg Bridge. Some residents are concerned that the change has created frequent traffic backups and pedestrian hazards at this crossing.  The meeting takes place Tuesday, June 11, 6:30 p.m. at University Settlement, 273 Bowery.


LES Resident Severely Injured in Bike-Van Accident Last Fall; Info Needed

A bicyclist was severely hurt in an accident at Grand & Allen streets, September 25, 2012. NYPD photos.

A bicyclist was severely hurt in an accident at Grand & Allen streets, September 25, 2012. NYPD photos.

On the evening of September 25 of last year, Lower East Side resident Jonathan Lopez was involved in an accident at the intersection of Grand and Allen streets.  Eight months later, his family is still trying to piece together the horrible events that unfolded around 10:30 p.m., and they could use your help.  Lopez, 26 at the time, was apparently riding his bike westbound on Grand when he was struck by a van operated by Premier Paratransit that was traveling northbound on Allen. He suffered a severe brain injury, is unable to walk and cannot communicate.

Truck vs. Traffic Light Pole on Grand Street

Near Grand Street and East Broadway. Photos by Dyske Suematsu.

Near Grand Street and East Broadway. Photos by Dyske Suematsu.

These photos are from TLD reader Dyske Suematsu.  At the intersection of Grand Street and East Broadway, a CVS Pharmacy truck apparently pulled down a traffic signal pole.  Dyske said CVS employees said a “cable fell.”