Monday, December 14, 2015

Concern About Traffic At The Corner of Union And Hoyt Streets

A few days ago, a concerned reader forwarded me a message that he had sent to Community Board 6 regarding the traffic situation at the intersection of Union Street and Hoyt Street. The message reads:

I live near the corner of Union and Hoyt Streets.

As traffic congestion in the neighborhood continues to grow, I am increasingly concerned about the traffic safety at this corner. The presence of the school and small children only increases my concern.

There are two basic problems, excessive speed on Union Street when cars are trying to "make the light" on the corner of Hoyt and the inability of trucks to turn from Union Street onto Hoyt Street due to the narrowness of Hoyt Street and the lack of of a "fire zone" on Hoyt Street.

Yesterday, I watched a garbage truck try to turn from Union onto Hoyt. He needed to back up and straighten out at least 3 times because cars were parked very close to the corner of Union on both sides of the street. Cars were honking and worst of all children were outside the school at the time. This was a recipe for disaster, one car finally whipped around the truck and try to get through the light, having waited for 2 or 3 cycles because the truck could not make the turn. Had a child been in the crosswalk at the time, the driver, whose vision was totally blocked by the truck would have struck the child while accelerating. It could have been a disaster. And it happens day after day.

I would like to propose the following saftey measures for the block.
1. A speed bump on Union between Smith and Hoyt, to slow down cars when they are approaching Hoyt Street.
2. A "No Right Turn for Trucks" sign on the corner of Union and Hoyt Streets.
3. Fire zones that extend from the crosswalk for 10 or 20 feet on both sides of Hoyt Street (south side) at the corner of Union Street so that emergency vehicles can turn easily.
4. Fire zone that extends from the crosswalk for 20 feet on Union Street at the corner of Hoyt Street (South West side) so that emergency vehicles can turn easily. (Note:
There is already a fire hydrant here, so you are really only losing a single parking space on the corner, that realy shouldnt be a parking space anyway.)

I understand that PS 32 is scheduled to be enlarged and will covert back to a K-5 school. Given the increased number of children expected in the area, it is imperitve that safety be addressed before tragedy strikes.

Please let me know how I may advance this suggestion with the Transportation and Safety Committee of Community Board 6.

From a concernd resident.

The suggestions made by this local resident makes quite a bit of sense.
I stopped by that particular corner this morning at about 11 AM to take the photos above and can confirm that there was quite a bit of traffic on Hoyt Street.
Traffic has indeed increased tremendously here in Carroll Gardens.  Smith Street and Court Street are also backed up on a regular basis. A while back, another reader contacted me about her own concern regarding the intersection of Smith Street, Second Place and Second Street, which many children use to get to and from school.

What other intersections are you concerned about in the neighborhood?


Nancy said...

All we need is another bike lane to park in.

Anonymous said...

I live on Union Street as well. In the morning, the school buses have a hard time turning as well. That corner is an invitation for an accident--and a child could be seriously injured. These are good suggestions and I hope the Dept of Transportation follows these recommendations.

Jimmy from Brooklyn said...

The traffic on Hoyt from Sackett to Second is insane. People run the 4 way Stop signs on Sackett, drive on the sidewalks at the school to get around parked cars, and one of my favorites are the cars coming down 1st and taking a illegal left turns onto Hoyt to go down Carroll. And then there are the bikers who ride on the narrow sidewalk. Only will get worse when Lighthouse complex is completed.

Anonymous said...

Court & Luquer. An accident last week took out the fence in front of the church building. There should be a bump out there. Cars speed through that turn and visibility in the crosswalk is always blocked by the cars parked on Court. Very dangerous for pedestrians.

Peter said...

Not an intersection, but the stretch of Smith Street from 9th to 3rd is a virtual speedway. No lights or stop signs, so cars tend to really hit the gas. Plenty of cars coming down the side streets and they tend to use rolling stops to try to make sure they can turn onto Smith. In both instances, pedestrians are the ones at risk.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Union and Hoyt is unsafe, especially with the school so close by.
Smith and 2nd by the Milk Bar F/G subway entrance is also dangerous. There is no stop sign or traffic light to make a left onto 2nd Place off of Smith and drivers barrel through the intersection without giving pedestrians the right-of-way. Another accident waiting to happen.

Biraz Turk said...

I live on Union near Hoyt as well and agree with the commenter. Removing a couple of parking spaces at the corner on Union and on Hoyt would help a great deal as would a speed bump and Slow School signs. As others have pointed out, it's a very dangerous corner and a miracle that more children haven't been killed or injured there. The crossing guards go their best but many drivers disregard them. Trucks, buses, and emergency vehicles have a terrible time making that turn and most of us who live there would never park on the corner because there have been so many accidents involving those spots. In addition, there is constant honking of cars because of the jam ups caused by trucks trying to turn. Union is a very busy street because it crosses the canal and goes all the way to the Grand Army Plaza.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry there are no speed bumps here but there are speed bumps in front of the Gowanus housing projects but not really IN front. and no crossing guards at PS32..? Now that the giant dumpster is gone at President people are free to go back to speeding through the narrow corridor. It would be great to have a fire space for wide turns. Yes. Trucks have to get down to that cement factory at the end of Hoyt and this seems to be the only way. Good luck. Some things might change but it will take an accident to get speed bumps...Lets hope the bumps come without one...

Anonymous said...

Speed bumps on Union, a main thoroughfare? really? Let's add speed bumps every 30 feet on every street in the city. How about pedestrians crossing against the light or better those that cross against the light while playing with their phones. Have had more than one step in front of my car while texting -- not paying attention. Death wish.

Anonymous said...

I was sitting in Black Mountain Wine House last year and there was a collision right there at the intersection. It didn't appear that anyone was seriously hurt, but one of the cars was pretty much totaled.

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 12:22....

Have you driven around Brooklyn lately? Speed bumps on Washington Ave, down by the BQE--even more of a main thoroughfare...and they work just fine.

...and when a kid gets killed by a speeding driver you can console the parents by informing them... least it happened on a main thoroughfare.

Anonymous said...

Smith and Degraw. I attempted for over a year to have a stop sign put in and it went no where.

Scotto said...

Traffic enforcement is a far cry from acceptable in our neighborhood. I am concerned all the time that the cars using Hoyt, Bond, Smith and Court as their personal drag strips will soon hit a senior or a child. The lack of stop signs between Union and 3rd on Hoyt is appalling. I've written to our community board and to our councilman. No reply. How can this be compatible with Vision Zero or even common sense good neighborhood policy? Who could be against this? Why does the 76th refuse to enforce traffic laws in our neighborhood?