Downtown drivers are getting a crash course in the new traffic pattern at Flatbush Avenue Extension and Myrtle Avenue.
The city deployed a traffic officer to the intersection by Sept. 2 after motorists mutinied there, with all but a few drivers ignoring a new ban on left turns heading toward Fort Greene that went into effect the week prior. Cars are now supposed to turn right into a horseshoe-shaped MetroTech Center service road that spits them out onto Myrtle Avenue. On Sept. 3 the city decided to augment the educational efforts of the cop shooing people out of the left-turn lane, which is now for buses only, by deploying a Department of Transportation worker to the scene to pass out sheets outlining the changes. Downtown’s community board administrator said the measures might be around awhile.
“They’ll take additional steps for as long as it takes for people to figure out the pattern or find a new route,” said Community Board 2 district manager Robert Perris.
A visit last week showed the traffic agent working frantically to turn away the stream of drivers trying to make the banned left — two snuck past him in the course of six minutes — and the flyers flying out of the transportation worker’s hands. So far, though the rate of people making lefts onto Myrtle is way down, the so-called “jug handle” that is supposed to replace it, which is a common traffic pattern in distant New Jersey but unheard of in Brooklyn, has not caught on.
“It doesn’t seem like a lot of people are using the jug handle,” Perris said.
A Department of Transportation spokeswoman said the flyers will be a fixture at the crossroads for another week and a half.