To the editor:
(re: “Broadway plan hits a bump in the road,” May 4)
I am very concerned with the transportation department’s proposed traffic plan for Broadway. This plan, while well intentioned, needs to be reviewed.
We all agree that calming traffic and improving pedestrian safety on Broadway is a good thing that is achievable, and there are some elements of the redesign that are on point. However, there were issues and suggestions raised at the public meeting held April 25 that need to be addressed.
I also find it troubling that when the business owners voiced their concerns at the meeting, they were dismissed as uninformed, and their concerns were invalid. The owners were opposed to the plan to install a 100-foot bus bulb and narrow the entrance of the service lane at West 242nd Street. The owners stated they will be put out of business if all the changes at West 242nd were implemented.
The new “improvements” on Broadway are going to make traffic a nightmare, and shoppers will simply take their business elsewhere. It will be impossible to continue supporting these stores.
On a personal note, I have stopped using the cleaners located under the subway at West 242nd. I had been using this business for many years when they were located further up Broadway. After they were forced to move to the new location, the traffic made it inconvenient.
Emergency responders, firefighters and EMS are going to have delayed response times. Parking lanes will be reduced from 13 feet to 8 to create room for the bike lanes on the park side.
Now, the wider lanes give these larger vehicles the buffer needed to pass double-parked cars and stopped buses. These reduced lanes will give emergency vehicles no choice but to veer off into oncoming traffic, especially with the congestion caused by double-parking during the multitude of sporting events held in Van Cortlandt Park.
These are some safety and traffic calming measures that can be taken by DOT without promoting gridlock and other unintended consequences: The speeding problems on Broadway already are greatly reduced due to the two new traffic lights. Speeding can be further reduced or controlled quite handily by staggering the lights so that motorists can’t exceed 25 mph.
The refusal of the officials to investigate or implement other less drastic measures makes me believe that this plan is less about speed and all about forcing a new bike lane in our community.