4th, Atlantic, and Flatbush traffic changes - 1 week later
August 9, 2011 9:23 AM - BoerumHillScott
It has been one week since the full implementation of the Atlantic Yards driven changes around the intersection of 4th, Atlantic, and Flatbush, and here's my perspective as a resident of block impacted and a frequent pedestrian through the area.

The heart of the changes was the shutting down of northbound 4th along the tiny block between Atlantic and Flatbush. That space was large enough to hold around 3 cars or one large truck in each lane without blocking the crosswalk or traffic lanes at Atlantic. Cars and trucks routinely blocked the intersection here, creating an unsafe situation for pedestrians had have to weave around cars to cross, or go into the Atlantic traffic lanes to get around trucks. This was especially a problem for people crossing with carts after shopping at Atlantic Terminal or Atlantic Center. The intersection routinely being backed up also led to cascading issues at Atlantic/Flatbush, and large amounts of honking through the area.

Since the changes, the crossing of 4th along the north side of Atlantic is obviously easier and safer. I have also noticed a huge decrease in honking along Atlantic. There has been an increase in traffic along Atlantic between 4th and 3rd, especially truck traffic. In my unscientific observations, the reduced honking has more than made up for the increased truck noise.

Traffic lights and walk signals were also changed because of the new traffic pattern. The largest change was adding an additional cycle for Northbound 4th to have a protected left turn onto Atlantic. This has led to increased wait time for pedestrians crossing Atlantic, which impacts people trying to go form the north side of Atlantic to the subway entrance at 4th and Pacific. I have noticed the additional wait time, but it has not been too annoying.

Overall, I would call the changes a success. A major safety issue and annoyance was taken away and replaced with more minor annoyances.

7 comments
August 9, 2011 9:35 AM - DeLepp
Nice graphic and glad noise is down. Lots of people were bitching and complaining about change, but as is human nature change is scary for some.
#1
August 9, 2011 9:42 AM - BoerumHillScott
I don't drive, but it seems like cars are moving better.

There was a huge wreck on Atlantic between 4th and 3rd last Friday evening (unrelated to the changes) that shut down Atlantic in both directions for over an hour.
I was worried that things would be worse without the option of sending northbound 4th to Flatbush, but things seemed to flow better than they did when Atlantic was closed due to a transformer problem a month earlier.

I think there are situations where traffic flows better when drivers have less options.
#2
August 9, 2011 10:20 AM - Not_Logged_In
Anonymous: We have Unintended Consequences with the traffic bullshit!
We've managed to snarl up traffic, have cars idle longer (Spewing Carbon Monoxide in the air) and created instant 'Road Rage' because of some Fascist Jackasses fucking Brooklyn up!
Linden BLVD (You haven't been there) between Flatbush Ave and Kings Highway has been converted in a ONE LANE HIGHWAY WITH A BIKE PATH!!!!! Are you fucking kidding me??? That's the route to JFK Airport.
I just wanna say Thanks Asssholes (Bloomberg and the out of town Fucktards)! You're made a mess of things!!

The What

Someday this war is gonna end..
#3
August 9, 2011 10:55 AM - More4Less
so far, traffic feels same or slightly better recently.
#4
August 10, 2011 6:23 AM - Arkady
Friends of mine on Dean around Carlton say it's been a disaster since the first changes & it's just gotten worse.
#5
August 10, 2011 6:24 AM - denton
"so far, traffic feels same or slightly better recently."

You guys are making this analysis during one of the slowest weeks of the year! No school, people with cars on vacation. Revisit this around Christmas!
#6
August 10, 2011 7:18 AM - BoerumHillScott
I'm sure Dean and Carleton got much worse when the Carleton bridge was closed and again when Pacific was closed in the two section between Flatbush - 6th and Carleton - Vanderbilt. It seems strange the that changes of the last 3 weeks would have any impact there, but I guess anything is possible.
That area should get a bet better when the Carleton bridge is re-opened, but it is certainly taking the brunt of the Atlantic Yards impact.

I am basing my unscientific and personal comparisons on how traffic was in the few weeks before the most recent changes. For my personal situation as a pedestrian living on the northwest side of the Atlantic/4th intersection, I will happily put up with a good bit of other changes in exchange for no more traffic backing up into the intersection from Northbound 4th at Atlantic.
I do the vast majority of my shopping at Target and Pathmark, and crossing 4th along the North side of Atlantic involved weaving through tightly squeezed cars or even going into Atlantic traffic lanes more times than not. This is irritating as a simple pedestrian, but dangerous when returning form shopping with a cart.
The change would not be needed if cars did not block the intersection, but even with traffic officers present blocking was the norm, not the exception.

The one proposed change that would have been very dangerous to pedestrians was removing the western crosswalk at Atlantic and 4th. This would have made people like me cross both 4th and Atlantic to get to the subway entrances at 4th/Pacific, and I have a feeling that many people coming to/from the Northwest would have crossed anyway with no crosswalk.
Luckily, good judgement prevailed and they have kept the crosswalk there.
Edited at August 10, 2011 7:18 AM
#7