If you live in Ferry Point, you’ve come to know all too well the early morning traffic misery on Brush Avenue.
Due to the intensification of this problem the Ferry Point Civic Association has re-shifted its concerns away from another problem spot – the dangerous intersection of Lafayette Avenue and the Hutchinson River Parkway service road.
Residents said Brush Avenue has suddenly become a major, busy road with horrendous rush hour traffic due to overcrowding of buses, trucks, double-parked cars that are there for a fruit vendor, and customers going into and out of the huge Home Depot at 2560 Bruckner Road.
“In early morning rush hour, people are telling me it takes them 30 minutes just to get to Bruckner Boulevard,” said JoAnn Sohmers, FPCA president. “They put a bicycle lane in, so now there’s only one lane in both directions, and it’s certainly not enough.”
Sohmers has recruited Senator Jeff Klein to help out with the Department of Transportation, which has been responsive to the situation.
“Traffic congestion on Brush Avenue has become a standstill,” said a member of Klein’s staff. “So our focus is, what can we do to alleviate traffic there?”
Klein reached out to DOT’s borough commissioner Constance Moran, who agreed to look into it. Whatever suggestions she makes, Klein’s office will then bring to Community Board 10 for discussion.
One idea residents have posed is wiping out the parking spots and adding a “No standing anytime” sign, thereby making that a second traffic lane for people leaving Ferry Point.
“During the past month, numerous Ferry Point residents have expressed concern to my office regarding traffic congestion on Brush Avenue,” Klein said. “I have asked [Moran] to develop proposals to help alleviate traffic in the area and once they are presented, my office will work with Community Board 10 to ensure any long-term solution meets with community input and approval.”
Sohmers said that DOT gave her the runaround on the other intersection — the Hutch service road and Lafayette, where she would like to see the traffic lights fixed, a no U-turn sign installed, and No Parking signage put into effect along the median strip.
“DOT just told me that everyone knows you shouldn’t make a U-turn there,” said Sohmers. “But it’s very dangerous, there are accidents there all the time. We have Monsignor Scanlan at that spot, and I’m afraid. Years ago a schoolbus came up and hit a kid, Philip Roublic.”
Sohmers said that cars park right up to the pole along the median, which blocks vision for pedestrians and drivers alike.
“Also,” she noted, “the lights are not in sequence. Drivers look at the farther light, it’s green, they go right through, but the first light may still be red.”
DOT’s official response was that the intersection did not necessitate the changes Sohmers requested.
She just wants to see some progress so that her neighborhood can be safer. “If they can clean up Brush Avenue, great,” she said.
“And then maybe we can talk more about signage on Lafayette.”