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.