If you’ve noticed a treacherous traffic signal or wished for the addition of a particular crosswalk on the streets of Greenpoint or North Williamsburg, now’s your chance to speak up. In the ongoing North Williamsburg Transportation Study, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) is surveying the portion of Brooklyn Community District #1 that stretches north of Broadway and Flushing Avenue between Newtown Creek and the East River to boost both safety and convenience for commuters. The initiative is a response to complaints and transportation hitches as the hot neighborhood grows increasingly crowded with architectural developments and thronged with both inhabitants and visitors.
The study will assess a variety of affecting factors, including demographics, land use and zoning, pedestrians and cyclists, parking, public transportation, and the movement of goods and trucks. Data will be collected in coordination with the Department of City Planning (DCP), which is currently working on its North Brooklyn Industry and Innovation Plan. This way, DCP Brooklyn Borough Director Winston Von Engel explains in the DOT’s press release, officials can attempt to balance the needs of industrial businesses with those of residents. For more insight and support, the DOT has also assembled a Technical Advisory Committee comprised of locally elected representatives and members of Community Board 1, the Department of City Planning, the New York State Department of Transportation, the New York City Transit, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council.
It’s not just up to these official leaders, however—community members get to share their say, too. Following two public meetings last month on May 12th and 16th (recapped here), there’s now an online portal with an interactive map where the public can pinpoint any specific traffic-related concerns, whether for cars, trucks, ferries, bikes, or pedestrians. So far, locals have logged over 300 complaints. You can make your voice heard here, and the community feedback will be used in combination with the other logged data to develop eventual recommendations for improvements, which will be released by fall 2017.
As State Senator Daniel Squadron notes, “it’s important our streets and transportation keep up” as “North Brooklyn, particularly Williamsburg, has undergone significant changes”—and for residents who’ve experienced the congestion firsthand, “significant changes” sounds like an understatement. The neighborhood certainly isn’t going to get any less crowded, but here’s hoping it will at least be a little easier to navigate with some concrete, sustainable adjustments.