Another push is underway for solutions from the city to alleviate the traffic bottleneck at Clinton and Grand streets.
Last week, State Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou and other elected officials sent a letter to the Department of Transportation (DOT) pleading for action. In the letter to DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Police Commissioner James O’Neill, the local reps said:
We write to echo our constituents’ frustration about the ongoing traffic issues at the Grand and Clinton Streets intersection on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Constituents continue to contact our offices about the vehicle gridlock in this area, along with quality of life concerns, such as noise, that stem from this traffic. It is critical that your agencies work swiftly with the community to find solutions to this ongoing traffic problem.
In June of last year, the Transportation Department agreed to begin a traffic study in the area. In December, the agency said the initial results were “inconclusive,” but that traffic planners were continuing to evaluate possible solutions. In the recent letter, the elected officials indicated that DOT has agreed to present its latest findings and to lay out recommendations at the May meeting of Community Board 3’s transportation committee. They urged the city to implement changes before the looming L Train shutdown and the opening of Essex Crossing, when congestion is expected to worsen.
Back in February, Commissioner O’Neil responded to an earlier plea from Niou for more traffic agents, especially during the weekends when gridlock approaching the Williamsburg Bridge is especially bad. The commissioner said the NYPD conducted a site survey, which “determined that the intermittent congestion is due to a construction project encompassing a three block radius around Grand Street and Delancey Street, and by motorists using Clinton Street as the primary access point to the Williamsburg Bridge.” As O’Neill noted, an electronic sign was placed on Grand Street at the end of January notifying motorists of alternative routes to the bridge. He also said traffic agents were being assigned to the area between 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekends.
You can read both letters below. We are also embedding a DOT presentation from a traffic town hall sponsored by Grand Street Democrats earlier this year.
We’ll let you know when the date and location of the May community board meeting is published. Separately, CB3 and the Lower East Side Partnership are setting up a public visioning session to discuss broader transportation issues in the immediate area. Details about that meeting have not yet been announced.