Williamsburg residents want stoplights along Kent near East River State Park

Stop. Go. Kent Avenue.

The Brooklyn Paper
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Fast-moving Kent Avenue is a tragedy waiting to happen, say neighbors who are pushing the city to install stoplights along the thoroughfare near East River State Park.

Residents believe that the combination of tourist pedestrians, bicycle commuters, and children at play alongside heavy vehicles with no signals slowing them down make the avenue a death trap.

“There are cars and bicyclists and strollers and ice cream trucks,” said Friends of East River State Park member Jackie Meyer. “I’ve seen a lot of near misses. It’s just a matter of time before there’s a tragedy.”

Last summer, nearly 8,000 people came into the park each weekend for the popular hipster markets Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea. In addition, thousands of bicyclists ride along the bike path connecting Williamsburg to Fort Greene each day.

The city says it hears the concerns, but that federal standards disqualify the road from getting new traffic signals.

“It is federally mandated and if we don’t have enough of the mandates, we cannot do it,” said Joseph Palmieri, Brooklyn roads commissioner.

If the city cannot install traffic lights, there may be other tools, such as rumble strips, that the city can use, said Palmieri. But because the avenue is a bus route, the city says it cannot install speed humps either. The excuses do not satisfy neighbors, who accuse city road planners of being “bean counters” who are twiddling their thumbs, waiting for the street to rack up a certain number of crashes, injuries, or deaths before taking action.

Palmieri said he will ask the transportation department to conduct more studies on the avenue.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

diehipster from Trouncing Tristans says:

What more can I say?

End of story. LLAB.
March 17, 2014, 7:11 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
This article seems loosely based on the Community Board meeting last week, but only very loosely.

The demand for stoplights was mostly along Humboldt Ave. I think there was a call for a stoplight around South 4th and the Williamsburg Bridge. No one was asking for stop lights on Kent. Kent Ave = Speed Trap was addressed at the January meeting when CB1 voted to redesign lower Kent Ave to add a bike lane and cut lanes of traffic to stop the speeding.

The complaints about Kent were about bikes. A quite literally insane woman who sat in her chair muttering to herself to the dismay of those near her stood up to yell about people riding bikes and hurting children near soccer fields. She was the one mentioned bean counters. She yelled during other people's comments too because she is just a rude and awful person.

She wanted rumble strips for bikes. The friend of East River Park also lied and said there are no rumble strips for bikes along Kent. The DOT commissioner said he thought there were strips but the Park lady lied and said there weren't. I assume the DOT commissioner will look into it, find there are rumble strips, and then dismiss their complaints since they were based on lies or ignorance.

So thanks for cutting out all the anti-bike stuff, I guess? But maybe reporting on how silly some of the people who go to community board meetings are would have been a better type of journalism.
March 17, 2014, 7:37 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
For context, the crazy/whiny lady demanded in January that the bike lane on Wythe be ripped out because it takes her 15 minutes to drive from North 11th to Broadway.
March 17, 2014, 8:27 am
Ken from Greenpoint says:
the transportation department to conduct more studies on the avenue. what a waste.............

tragedy waiting to happen, if bikers will show some respected and follow rules and do a full stop for red flashers of school buses will prevent a lot of problems...
March 17, 2014, 10:11 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
"the transportation department to conduct more studies on the avenue. what a waste..........."


Rent seekers - We need a study, then another one.

Bike riders are saving the earth they are exempt from all laws except those of physics and gravity.
March 17, 2014, 10:27 am
Federal Mandate from Williamsburg says:
Does anyone know is that is a law or if the city chooses to use these mandates?
March 17, 2014, 10:51 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
The DOT commissioner said it was a law and the city's hands are tied.

You learn a lot at community board meetings.
March 17, 2014, 11:15 am
Tyson White from UWS says:
I grew up in Brooklyn on a street that had two corners with stop sign. I witnessed several crashes in front of my eyes until the DOT finally put in traffic lights at those corners. This was 15-20 years ago. The eerie truth is that nearly every traffic light is a monument to several people who have paid the ultimate price for our officials' reluctance to take action.
March 17, 2014, 11:17 am
CU says:
There are no rumble strips on Kent. You should visit your old haunts more if you want to be well informed. Why you are lying is anyone's guess. An insatiable ego I can only assume.
March 17, 2014, 4:09 pm
Diddy from 11249 says:
He wants to see people die.
March 17, 2014, 4:18 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Smh. People in this community are nuts.

Here's a picture of the rumble strips on Kent, since you don't have the decency to be honest. Perhaps you wish there were more rumble strips. Perhaps you wish they were harder to avoid. But the only way to deny their existence is to lie.,-73.963544,3a,37.5y,257.12h,70.78t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sgBhNY0Yn4GD7BZI6oC3prg!2e0

You can apologize to me a your leisure.
March 17, 2014, 4:37 pm
CU says:
ohh yes, the white paint stripes that are a visual cue to slow down. i must be closing my eyes to much thru there. Sorry, fella. sincerely
March 17, 2014, 4:54 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Yes, the white strips that are raised and cause your to bounce if you ride too fast over them.

I will grant that their very visibility makes them very easy to avoid. I bike around them every single time.
March 17, 2014, 5:27 pm
Sidney from 11222 says:
Needs stop signs up and down Kent avenue. It's a residential street now. Treat it as such. Avoid the bikes. They aren't going to obey anything.
March 17, 2014, 6:12 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Placing stoplights will do absolutely nothing to help with safety as long as you have cyclists that are constantly disobeying them as well as pedestrians who don't even wait for the walk signal let alone look both ways to cross, but will always blame us motorists for all of their actions no matter what.
March 17, 2014, 6:45 pm
Mack says:
A pedestrian elevated walkway at Dumino would be great. RAILROAD CROSSING STYLE GATES every 5 blocks WOULD be great. Golf carts . Miniature steam locomotive please. Solar trolley. thanks for your time.
March 17, 2014, 6:45 pm
Stacey from Prospect Heights says:
I drive & bike to Williamsburg. As I see it, though some cyclists think they're not subject to obey traffic rules, that's not the problem. The problem is the traffic, and the cars that speed through a city street. The best way to slow them down, besides speed humps, rumble strips, or any other roadway construction, is STOP signs. Traffic lights often push drivers to actually speed up because they see that green or yellow at the next corner that they want to get through. Stop signs make them slow down and stop signs at every corner means they can't really ever get up too much speed.
March 18, 2014, 11:50 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
The other way to crack down on speeding on city streets is speed cameras. Transportation Alternatives is circulating a form to request one in your neighborhood. If drivers learn that speeding on Kent costs them hundreds of dollars per incident, they will soon learn to slow down.

The form:;jsessionid=BFC66FFC73072F1778BFE9E80A275CFB.app366b?ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS&SURVEY_ID=7260&autologin=true&pw_id=2441&utm_source=streetbeat-Mar132014&utm_medium=email&utm_content=version2&utm_campaign=2014POGO%20Vision%20Zero%20-%20Online
March 18, 2014, 12:15 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Stacey, many of those cyclists will always believe that the rules don't apply to them. Unless there is better enforcement, they will always be able to ignore all traffic lights and signs without ever feeling hindered about it. Then again, those on places such as Streetsblog and Transportation Alternatives will always act like victims to the rules and say that they are being picked on even though tickets on motorists flouting the laws or causing accidents has actually increased in most of the city, which debunks the lax attitude towards them.
March 18, 2014, 4:57 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Show me evidence that tickets issued to motorists have increased. Show me a year by year comparison of various moving violations... until you can do that, shut your pie hole. Brooklyn doesn't need your brand of ignorant babble spewing down on us from Westchester County.
March 18, 2014, 5:07 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
So Stacey the cyclist agrees that cyclist break laws "but are really not the problem". WRONG!!!!!!! Pedestrian here. Cyclists have zero respect for red lights. I have been hit by 2 cyclists running red lights. I have been hit by ZERO cars. Obey the law Stacey. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM
March 18, 2014, 5:34 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, you want evidence that it's up, here it is from WNYC to throw your claim out of the window, and also from that website is an article of traffic calming that was stopped on Wisconsin Avenue in DC due to numerous traffic issues as well and being counterproductive.
March 18, 2014, 6:43 pm
Jackie (misquoted by Mike) from Williamsburg says:
Clarification, I was advocating for crosswalks and stop signs on Kent and 8th Street for the entrance to the Park and city park/soccer field. Stop signs are better than lights and promotes a lower speed. There are rumble strips near the park on the bike lane, but we need signage too. I didn't bring this up, but it should be noted as bikers do not slow down for park pedestrians. I also suggested that past studies have been a waste of taxpayer dollars, as they are measuring the wrong elements that make the intersection dangerous.
March 18, 2014, 7:37 pm
NYPD from NY says:
I bet I hit swampyankee. It was on purpose too.
March 19, 2014, 10:23 am
ty from pps says:
Tal -- If I thought you actually read those two articles AND understood what they said, I'd actually engage you. Those articles are actually a good starting point for an intelligent, rational discussion. But, Tal, that would require you to be intelligent and rational. If you think you could fulfill that, let me know. However, if you think I (and everyone else) only looks at the world in the absurd black-and-white way you do... well, there's no point.
March 19, 2014, 5:05 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, judging by your latest comment, you probably didn't even bother to read those links at all.
March 19, 2014, 5:23 pm
ty from pps says:
That's right, Tal.
March 19, 2014, 7:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, trying to explain how traffic calming works to you is the equivalent of getting the Muslim Brotherhood to accept Israel as a Jewish state, and we all know how that goes.
March 20, 2014, 2:23 pm

Comments closed.

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