Due to road construction work, Clinton Street in the area between Grand Street and East Broadway was a fiasco earlier this week (the street was completely closed). In truth, however, conditions in this area aren’t much better under normal circumstances. So it should be a relief to many residents this afternoon that the city’s Department of Transportation has agreed to look at remedying the traffic nightmare on the stretch of Clinton Street leading to the Williamsburg Bridge.
Last month, Community Board 3 approved a resolution urging the city to address the concerns about gridlock and safety on Clinton. Local elected officials then sent a letter to DOT, reinforcing CB3’s resolution. Today we hear through State Sen. Daniel Squadron’s office that the agency has begun a traffic study.
DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg wrote in a response to the elected officials yesterday, “(DOT’s) Traffic Planning and Management Division is currently conducting a study of this location (Clinton and Grand streets) to address the safety concerns that you described.” She also said traffic signals are being changed to allow vehicles more time to pass through the intersection northbound towards the bridge.
It should be noted that DOT has looked at congestion in this area in the past, and ended up implementing only modest changes. There’s no getting around the fact that cars must get to the bridge somehow — and there are no easy solutions for addressing gridlock in a part of the Lower East Side that is sure to become even more congested during the next few years.