Steep learning curve for new Flatbush Avenue Extension jug handle

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Don’t do it!: A big electric sign tells motorists that they cannot make a left turn on to Myrtle Avenue when heading away from the Manhattan Bridge on Flatbush Avenue Extension.

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.

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Right to work: The new jug handle traffic pattern the city implemented at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Flatbush Avenue Extension looks good on paper, but so far most drivers are ignoring it.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

ty from pps says:
And... after the education period... will tickets actually be written? Hmmm?
Sept. 8, 2014, 10:44 am
Brad from Flatbush & Myrtle says:
Those poor DOT workers. Why not just close the lane all-together and force even buses to take the jug handle?
Sept. 8, 2014, 3:48 pm
bleen point five from brooklyn says:
The automobile will never be taken seriously as a mode of transportation if drivers do not begin to follow traffic laws.
Sept. 8, 2014, 3:52 pm
Common Cents from Crown Heights says:
Exactly how is diverting drivers through an additional two crosswalks (hey pedestrians) and then potentially having them block both north and south bound traffic an improvement? Why not just synch the light on Prince street with the left turn signal and northbound Flatbush lights?
Sept. 8, 2014, 5:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I still find this a bad idea and only taking more time to make a turn when there is already the signal for it.
Sept. 8, 2014, 7:58 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- I think it's a bad idea that you have a license. I'm wondering where you get this idea that this takes more time? Any evidence, Tal? Or just your usual...
Sept. 9, 2014, 11:21 am
bleen from k says:
Clearly the point is to speed up through traffic at the expense of those turning. This has been the strategy for years now on Flatbush.

Tal last drove on Flatbush in 1961, so he can be forgiven for his usual inane opinion.
Sept. 10, 2014, 11:02 am

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