Mayor Signs Council Member Chin’s Truck Route Safety Legislation

Community Board Member Opposes Clinton Street Crosswalk

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Earlier this month we reported on the request by the Seward Park Co-op Board to add a mid-block crosswalk (and signal) on Clinton Street between Grand and East Broadway. The transportation committee of Community Board 3 voted for a resolution asking the Department of Transportation to study the situation. But there was a hitch at last night’s full CB3 meeting. Rabbi Y.S. Ginzberg, a community board member and a Seward Park resident, called the request “ridiculous.” He said there was “no reason for it,” because the automobile traffic on this particular stretch of Clinton Street is not very heavy, and there’s not that much pedestrian traffic.

At the committee meeting on June 10th, Lee Slater of the co-op board voiced concern that cars speeding along Clinton in order to make the green light at Grand Street, fail to notice people trying to cross in the middle of the block. He cited the death of a woman by a garbage truck a few months ago. CB3 ended up passing a watered down resolution, calling on the DOT to study the situation but removing language suggesting the community believes pedestrian safety is a problem on Clinton Street.

The Co-op had also asked for and received CB3’s support in reducing truck noise on East Broadway. The committee asked the DOT to look into posting signs on the street reinforcing the current law, which prohibits trucks from using the street as a “through” route. Last night, Rabbi Ginzberg said he agrees there’s a need to keep trucks from using East Broadway as a “through” street. But, he expressed fears that posting signs there would only encourage trucks to use Grand Street to get across town. Ginzberg said Grand is already snarled with traffic, due, in part, to the city’s new bike lanes and center islands. Other members of the CB3 Board pointed out that, like East Broadway, Grand is not a “through” route. Trucks heading to the west side are supposed to use Delancey or Houston streets. The bottom line: the DOT will look into the requested changes on both East Broadway and Clinton streets.

Seward Park Co-op Seeks to Reduce E. Broadway Truck Traffic

Representatives of the Seward park Co-op are asking the city’s Department of Transportation to post signs on East Broadway underscoring that trucks are prohibited from using it as a “through route.” Co-op resident Ed Green has been on a 10 month crusade to keep the trucks from rumbling down the street past his apartment at all hours. Last night CB3’s transportation committee asked the DOT to look into the request.

At last month’s 7th Precinct community meeting, Green pleaded with the NYPD to ticket trucks using the street to pass through the neighborhood. In spite of the fact that East Broadway is not a designated “through” street, police officers told him there’s nothing they could do unless signs were put up. But last night, after a representative of the community board said that signs were not required in order to enforce the law, The Lo-Down asked police officials for clarification. They acknowledged that it is, in fact, their responsibility to ticket trucks that are using East Broadway to get across town. On the DOT’s web site, it states, “the presence of signage is not required to enforce the Truck Route regulations.” For a list of “through” streets in the neighborhood see the end of this post.

Nevertheless, the transportation department will study the feasibility of adding signs as an extra deterrent. Even if signs are posted, trucks making local deliveries will still be able to use East Broadway. The committee discussed whether the signs should be posted on the entire street (from Grand to Chatham Square) or just from Montgomery to Essex Street (in the vicinity of the Seward Park towers). Ultimately, they decided to ask for signs along the entire stretch of East Broadway. The DOT said the study would take about three months.