Ninth St. truck traffic instills fear

The Brooklyn Paper
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Trucks are barreling down Ninth Street and someone is going to get killed.

That’s the sentiment of some very angry Carroll Gardens residents this week.

On Monday night, upset neighbors who fear the speed of commercial traffic along the truck route has grown “intolerable” called on Department of Transportation (DOT) officials attending the Carroll Gardens Neighbor-hood Association meeting at Hannah Senesh on Smith Street to do something about it.

“I will not stand by and have one of my children executed,” local dad Kevin Duffy proclaimed.

DOT officials say that altering existing truck routes wouldn’t be an easy task. But some in the community want the city to do just that.

One idea is to reroute truck traffic down Second Avenue and use Smith Street between Ninth Street and Hamilton Avenue as a two-way street.

“There are things that can be done,” Duffy told the Courier. “I’d like to have the trucks go away, but until then I want the traffic to slow down. I want pedestrians and cyclists to have the right of way.”

The controversial stretch of Ninth Street falls within the project area of the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Report. Some, like Gary Reilly of Transportation Alternatives, say the city should direct more resources to addressing the safety along the route.

“I’m not an engineer, but we’ve seen many examples around the City where DOT has retrofitted dangerous streets to make traffic safer, and I’d like to see some of that ingenuity directed to the trouble spots in our community,” Reilly said.

Just don’t try installing a bike lane without first peeling off the truck traffic, according to Duffy.

“It would be like a rowboat next to the Queen Elizabeth,” he said.

In recent years, Ninth Street has grown more residential than had traditionally been the case, thereby putting more people at risk.

Just last week two people were pulled out of a wreck at Smith and Sackett streets.

“I think overall we need to be looking at the unsafe intersections and at-risk stretches of streets in our community and make every effort to improve safety,” Reilly said. “Carroll Gardens is a highly walkable community, which is one our neighborhood’s greatest strengths. But we clearly have places where we could improve safety, and we need DOT to work with us to make our streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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