GREENPOINT, Brooklyn (PIX11) — Travel along a busy boulevard in Brooklyn is about to change.
The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced a decision about the redesign of McGuinness Boulevard. Lanes will shift later this year as crews restripe and realign the road.
For the past few years, advocates and some neighbors have been calling for a significant change after crashes and pedestrian fatalities.
Currently, McGuinness is two lanes in each direction with curbside parking on both sides. The new configuration will have one lane for vehicles in each direction. The parking lanes shift to create protected bike lanes in both directions.
New signage and lane markings that restrict some left-hand turns have been installed in the past year. Pedestrian islands have been created at some intersections.
A spokesperson for the DOT said the city is dedicated to enhancing the safety of critical transit arteries, including McGuinness Boulevard.
“We’re taking safety one step forward with a redesign proposal that installs protected bike lanes along both curbs, creates neighborhood loading zones on each block, shortens crossing distances, and discourages cut-through turns. We’re reviewing community stakeholder feedback as we finalize the design,” the agency spokesperson said.
John Ciafone is with a group of local neighbors and business owners who are critical of the reduction in lanes for vehicles.
“If you put one lane of traffic, it’ll be even more dangerous. I think it will make a bad situation worse. You’ve got development left and right. There will be more cars,” Ciafone said.
Other neighbors and advocates were mobilized by the death of a teacher crossing an intersection in 2021.
“Our goal is has been to ensure there’s no more deaths on McGuinness Boulevard. By eliminating a lane of traffic in either direction, it will eliminate the speeding culture,” said Bronwyn Breitner.
Lucia Corba, who owns restaurants along the corridor, wants the city to reconsider and gather more data regarding trucks, deliveries and bikes.
“They say it’s in the name of safety. But it’s not safety whatsoever. If they were concerned about safety, they would have cyclists, registered, insured and with plates,” she said.
Assemblymember Emily Gallagher said McGuinness Boulevard will be a less attractive shortcut for drivers.
“To add safety features that have been successful in other parts is a success. I’m looking forward to getting past the growing pains of a major change,” she said.
The assemblymember and agency plan to continue to troubleshoot pieces of the plan.
The lane redesigns are set for sometime in 2023.