Following a letter from local elected officials last week urging NYC DOT to address the ongoing traffic problem in our neighborhood, Grand Street Democrats District Leaders and other community leaders involved in January’s Traffic Town Hall have sent their own letter to DOT Commissioner Trottenberg asking for the release of traffic study data that was promised in 2017 and for the development of a strategy to address the traffic.
With new retail opening this fall at Essex Crossing, and especially the L Train shutdown starting in 2019, we need to develop a better plan to handle cars now so that the problem doesn’t get out of control.
Below is the letter we sent out today:
We write to you about the intersection of Clinton Street and Grand Street on the Lower East Side. Significant traffic congestion at this intersection continues to impact the surrounding streets and neighborhoods. We urge the Department of Transportation to release data, progress, conclusions, and recommendations from any traffic study at this intersection conducted in 2017 or that is underway, and to commit to developing a comprehensive plan for community review that will route bridge traffic to wider streets with more capacity.
The conditions at this intersection and nearby streets continue to worsen.
• Narrow streets that approach the Williamsburg Bridge here are inadequate for the number of cars leaving Manhattan by this route.
• Gridlock at Clinton and Grand creates a backlog of cars in two directions, impacting East Broadway and extending up the FDR Drive as far as Houston Street.
• This bottleneck creates a safety hazard for pedestrians and bicyclists over several blocks.
• Incessant honking from frustrated drivers, often late at night, is a serious aggravation for residents.
• New construction of several high-rise buildings with active retail will compound the congestion problem within this traffic zone.
• The L Train shutdown starting in 2019 will have a big effect on these same streets, as non-HVO cars are diverted from the Williamsburg Bridge.
We must make plans now to help this neighborhood accommodate its rapid growth. It is not appropriate to use this residential area as an on-ramp to the Williamsburg Bridge.
Democratic District Leaders
President, Grand Street Guild Residents Association
President, Seward Park Cooperative
Lower East Side Power Partnership
President, PS 110 PTA
President, Grand Street Democrats
Update: Howard Stern has also signed the letter for the Hillman Board of Directors. [PDF]