Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ramped Stupidity

Well it looks as if Willets Point isn't the only area that is being vexed with poorly planned ramps. As the NY Post reports, Dyker Heights in Brooklyn stands aghast at the stupidity of the transportation planners: "A long-overdue city plan to fix the disastrous Fort Hamilton Parkway exit from the Gowanus Expressway is heading back to the drawing board after residents gave it a thumbs down this week. City officials have promised that they would remedy a congestion and safety problem they created when they redesigned the exit last summer, but when they finally presented the blueprints for the intersection of Fort Hamilton Parkway, Seventh Avenue and 78th Street on Monday night, Dyker Heights residents were disgusted."
Pretty much what most Queens residents have seen with those Van Wyck ramps-anyone who knows the area sees the stupidity of the concept right off the bat. And the experts are anything but: "The anger mostly boiled over at the agency’s plan to allow traffic exiting the expressway to go in any direction, while restricting local traffic by barring left turns onto 78th Street from Fort Hamilton. ”You’re telling me that people from Staten Island can go anywhere and I live in the neighborhood and I can’t,” complained Joe de la Cruz, one of dozens of residents who flocked to McKinley JHS to hear a briefing about how the city would correct the extended traffic backups and aggressive driving behavior that resulted from last year’s construction."

But the Van Wyck situation is even worse because of the sheer volume of traffic-making the ramp configuration a moot point. Still, the lack of real appreciation for what goes on in the neighborhood is the tie that binds Dyker Heights and Willets Point-father, err the planners, really don't know what's best.

We'll give the Post-and council member Gentile the last word "Residents did cheer the increased crossing time, the relocated crosswalk and the added lane of car traffic to prevent backups. But most were still concerned. “People are going to drive backwards down that street even more,” said Christine Kennedy, who had complained at an earlier meeting that congestion was sending cars backwards down 78th Street. “You’re fixing one little problem at a time and it’s dominoing into another problem.” In the end, Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge) told agency officials to go back to the drafting table and come up with something better. “Don’t do anything until you consider what you have heard here tonight,” he said."