Residents in Dumbo Request a More Balanced Traffic Approach

In our recap of a community development meeting earlier this month, the DOT announced that they approved all-direction stop signs at the intersection of Water and Main Street. However, according to an article on DNAinfo yesterday, residents of Dumbo are worried about traffic at intersections of Jay and Water streets, Water and Dock streets, York and Washington streets, York and Front streets and Bridge and Front streets.

In the community meeting, the DOT representative Chris Hrones acknowledged a need to do “ongoing research and data collection for other intersections”. But these intersetions did not meet the warrants for the pedestrian requirements and will not have a stop sign at this time. The DOT “applies federal guidelines — including traffic and pedestrian volumes, overall traffic flow, school crossings, the intersection’s crash history and other factors — to determine whether an intersection is eligible for a stop sign or traffic light.”

This doesn’t matter, say parents who posted on a Dumbo Parent’s newsgroup. “For all of you who made suggestions about the various scary intersections in Dumbo after the accident on York and Washington back in June, we did get the DOT (via pressure from the BID and from the Dumbo Neighborhood Association) to assess all of those corners. Unfortunately, the DOT rejected making specific changes at this time, with the exception of a new stop sign on Main and Water.” The DOT representatives we spoke to say that the assessments on the intersections will be revisited again in 18 months.

One parent who lives in the neighborhood, who asked to remain unnamed, said, “Can we not balance the historical traffic data that with information we know is coming in the near future? For example, we know the 18 story Dock Street building will have 400 rental units, 400 parking spaces, a 300 seat middle school. That’s 1500 additional people coming in and out of the entrances and exits at Water Street, Dock Street, and Front Street. We should be able to anticipate this traffic, along with the new Empire Stores to prevent accidents.”

Another parent wrote “When it comes to construction – there is almost no coordination between traffic and community — its traffic and construction company — we as home owners and the community are “inconvenienced” is the thought process.” Put all this together with the newer rental building at 30 Washington Street (94 units), other new housing developments (Pierhouse (200 hotel rooms, 159 residential units, a 300-car underground parking garage), Dumbo Townhouses, and John Street condos), and the 1.2 million-square-foot complex at the site of the Watchtower buildings), we should have a clearer picture of how much increase of pedestrian, bus, and car traffic the area will gain.

4 Comment

  • I’m no longer in DUMBO, but I’d follow up with questioning why the stop sign at Water and Dock before the rebuild wasn’t restored after the street rebuild, especially with the park and Dock St development.

    Historical traffic data is irrelevant in a neighborhood which has changed and grown as drastically as DUMBO has.

  • They should also discontinue two way traffic on Washington between Front and York. Double parking and deliveries back the traffic up on Front street multiple times a day and make Front worse than it needs to be.

    • I live on Washington (70) and I couldn’t agree with you more. The street is FAR too narrow to justify two way traffic AND parking on both sides. You can have one, but not both.

      Secondly, some speed bumps would be very welcome on front street. Please people, slow down, there are so many more kids and people living here.

  • This will go over like a lead balloon but…as long as there’s an open wish list (and who knows I may move back to DUMBO some day):
    – Water Street should be two way from Main to Fulton. This will never happen since it will eliminate parking.
    – Washington Street should either be two way (and remove one lane of parking) or one way to York. Current configuration is stupid on multiple levels.
    – Either Water or Front should be two way, but again this would eliminate parking and is thus a non–starter. Because stationary cars have priority over traffic, which has priority over pedestrians.
    – Main Street should have a guard posted who destroys any vehicle driving the wrong way. Even from the parking garage. You could get away with it in 2007, maybe 2010 but not today.
    – Front Street should have a stop sign at Main Street, because the idiots who zoom in off Fulton or York can’t be bothered to slow down.

    Two way traffic has been shown to slow down traffic speeds in a variety of studies. The reason much of Brooklyn and Manhattan have one way streets is to provide on street parking.

    I found the DOT and MTA people reasonable, even when I disagreed with their positions. They have to work within a sometimes insane set of requirements and come up with the least worst option.