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Bay Ridge’s Community Board 10 wants traffic cops at 86th Street and Fourth Avenue

Board seeks agents to oversee 86th Street and Fourth Avenue

Crossing guard: Bay Ridge leaders want traffic cops for 86th Street and Fourth Avenue.
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Could a traffic agent point the way out of Bay Ridge’s dysfunction junction?

Community Board 10 is calling on the police department’s traffic enforcement arm to place agents at the problematic 86th Street and Fourth Avenue intersection — but the traffic cops are recommending red-arrow turn lights instead.

The CB10 met with heads of the NYPD Transportation Bureau on Jan. 8 to urge them to assign enforcement agents to the intersection in order to curb collisions — of which there have been 66 of since 2012, making it the second-most-dangerous intersection in all of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights.

Leaders of the neighborhood board blamed the perilous environment on illegal habits which they argued a police presence would help deter.

“It is an area of serious jaywalking, speeding, cars double-parking and blocking buses,” said Doris Cruz, chairwoman of CB10’s traffic and transportation committee. “We need some help.”

But enforcement officials warned that the large intersection would require three agents to monitor — and the bureau has just 186 agents for all of Brooklyn, lower Manhattan, and Staten Island. The traffic chiefs instead recommended red-arrow turn lights for Fourth Avenue in both directions, which they said would prevent turning vehicles from getting caught in the intersection after the lights change, or swinging around into the crosswalks while pedestrians have the right-of-way.

“There’s a big mess going on in the middle of the street with the turners,” said traffic enforcement manager Joe Ellis. “A light would cut back on your congestion there.”

But Ellis said the board could still request officers for the junction.

“You can try,” Ellis said.

The city has suggested numerous reforms for the intersection in the past. The board voted against Department of Transportation recommendations in Oct. 2013 for an elevated concrete island in the middle of the Verrazanno Bridge-side of the intersection and a Herald Square-style pedestrian fence — but embraced a proposal for a red-painted, buses-only lane on the side of Fourth Avenue nearest the Narrows.

The neighborhood panel has also suggested relocating one of the five bus lines that use the intersection. CB10 district manager Josephine Beckmann said that the board has already submitted a request to the city for the red-arrow lights, and has been told a study is underway.

The NYPD already has agents posted five days a week at the neighborhood’s most dangerous intersection — 65th Street and Sixth Avenue — which are a holdover from a highway construction project. Authorities assured the board that those crossing guards will not be going anywhere any time soon.

“We plan on maintaining them,” traffic enforcement representative Donald Powe said.

There were 104 collisions at 65th Street and Sixth Avenue in 2012 and 2013.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
Updated 10:16 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Harry Jensen from Bay Ridge says:
This is a great idea! Finally, they are addressing this awful traffic spot. I think this will have a positive impact!
Jan. 10, 2014, 4:34 am
ty from pps says:
And -- no, they don't need a "traffic enforcement agent." They need an actual police officer that can stop a car and write a ticket.

Whoever decided to call meter maids "traffic enforcement agents" when they can't actually enforce traffic is... well... stupid.
Jan. 10, 2014, 9:26 am
John from Bay Ridge says:
Agreed Ty. The TEA's are essentially useless from a safety perspective. Their only role is revenue generation.
Jan. 10, 2014, 11:02 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I will support more traffic enforcement if they will also go after pedestrians and cyclists that flout the laws as well. The article doesn't just mention motor vehicles, but jaywalking as well, which is just as dangerous. I do agree with the need for left turn signals, because I tend to find making a left turn on many two way streets in NYC to be very difficult especially when there isn't one there to begin with. As for meter maids, they were designed for parking violations only, not moving violations hence their name, though this was originally a job for women noticing the part saying maid. Still, an intersection can never be truly safe until all groups follow the rules, not just one group that so many want to take action on while turning a blind eye to all others.
Jan. 10, 2014, 5:22 pm
Thomas from Bay Ridge says:
Tal - I'm not sure you're at all familiar with this intersection. Bikes avoid it simply because it's a car infested nightmare. I do agree with ty about the double parkers - but it's more than that. I don't know if there's a need for a policeman. I think that just having someone there directing traffic will change behavior (which is attrocious today).
The problem is purely cars at this intersection. The solution doesn't have to be difficult though. Just a little control, and making it clear that drivers can't get away with anything and everything. This is a corner I don't even feel comfortable driving at, whereas almost all of the rest of Bay Ridge is actually very pleasant to drive in.
Jan. 10, 2014, 5:33 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Thomas, you do know that some who comment here have an anti-car bias. Whatever makes us motorists feel inconvenient, is what makes them happy, and that usually involves redesigning entire roads even if it's just some short term solution. For the record, I have been at a lot of dangerous intersection throughout the city, and I know what they are like. Also, I do feel that reckless drivers should be stopped, but so should jaywalkers and cyclists who love to run all traffic lights and signs without ever obeying them. Overall, I don't want it to be like George Orwell's Animal Farm where only a certain group of animals were exempt from the laws while the rest were exempt from them.
Jan. 10, 2014, 7:18 pm
Rob from Greenpoint says:
*sigh*
Jan. 10, 2014, 7:55 pm
ty from pps says:
I agree, Rob.
Jan. 10, 2014, 10:58 pm
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
I hope that's Fake Tal.
Jan. 11, 2014, 1:36 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I can see some just can't stop drinking the Haterade.
Jan. 11, 2014, 3:07 pm
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
I hope that's also Fake Tal.
Jan. 11, 2014, 9:33 pm
Morgan from Bay Ridge says:
If none Of the Real or fake Tal's have been on the corner of 86th and 4th, then their comments are just general and not very useful. At least in my opinion.
There is no problem with bikes (in fact I think some more bikes might improve things) , but you wouldn't know as you are unfamiliar with the circumstance.
Jan. 12, 2014, 11:02 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Again, I have been at many busy intersections in NYC, so I know what they are like even if I haven't been to this one. For the record, I am all for cracking down on motorists who flout the laws, and I feel that enforcement is needed. However, other groups need to play their parts as well, and that's where the irony comes in. Keep in mind that the article also mentions jaywalking as a problem as well, but so many of you single out cars and other motor vehicles while turning a blind eye to that, and the same thing about cyclists who have a tendency to flout the laws as well. In reality, all sides need to follow the rules, not just one of them hence the Animal Farm reference. BTW, I'm not against anyone who likes to ride a bicycle, just those who believe they are above all others and never follow the rules is what I am against. On a side note, attacking the person, doesn't make you better, it just sounds more like you just want to hear your side only while trying to scare away anyone who doesn't look at things from your eyes only.
Jan. 12, 2014, 3:06 pm
ty from pps says:
Pleasantville must be perfect since Tal spends all of his time worrying about Brooklyn.
Jan. 12, 2014, 5:34 pm
Mustache Pete from Fort Greene says:
It's a new year. I've promised myself to not engage in hate. Tal thrives on attention. Without it, he's lost. So let's all take it easy on ourselves and ignore him.
Jan. 13, 2014, 4:04 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
At least I talk about the issue unlike some here who just looking for attention. The only reason why I think that there will never be a true crackdown on jaywalking, which is also a problem for this intersection, despite this being the case everywhere else is because of two main reasons. The first is that the penalty for it is nothing more than a slap on the wrist hence not being a cash cow. The second one is that due to the low fine, many will be encouraged to do it even more, which is why it's so big in NYC unlike everywhere else where it is actually enforced. Honestly, I do find it going into harm's way when crossing against the light or even while being distracted with something like an iPhone.
Jan. 13, 2014, 5:48 pm

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