At Brooklyn’s Community Board 1 January meeting, the DOT presented an extensive slide show on the present conditions of Meeker Avenue and the proposed changes that will make it safer without compromising traffic flow.
Council Member Stephen Levin was at the meeting and stated, “As you all know Meeker Avenue is an incredibly, incredibly, dangerous street. There are sensible things that we can do to calm it down and it won’t cause gridlock. As a matter of fact, in my opinion what they are going to present tonight will do the exact opposite it’s going to make it a lot more orderly.”
Julio Palleiro presented the DOT’s plan, which included: new crosswalks, new signal timing changes, adding neckdowns , closing the existing parking lot entrances under the BQE and replacing them with entrances/exits on Meeker, a turn change to the B59 route, closing the bit of North 5th between Havemeyer and Metropolitan and creating a pedestrian plaza, among other things.
As this was part of a public hearing, Transit Alternatives TransAlt activists were there, and their effort to spread the word helped encouraged attendance from Williamsburg Northside School and their Parent’s Association, El Puente, St.Nicks Alliance/OUTRAGE, and Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn wrote letters to the board in support of the DOT’s plan.
There was some pushback from the audience on noticing that there was no allowance in the plan for bicycles. In addition, skepticism was raised over how adding a 2nd lane to Metropolitan would work, and that the closing of the brief stretch of North 5th Street would inconvenience more people than the DOT‘s research showed.
An avid cyclist, Council Member Reynoso said, “Meeker has been a speedway for far too long, with dangerous intersections where we have seen too many incidents and deaths. I am grateful to DOT for taking steps that will make crossing safer for pedestrians, and look forward to inclusion of safety measures for bicycles as well.”
If you would like to see the proposed changes to Meeker Avenue you may view the slide show here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/meeker-avenue-cb1-jan2016.pdf