DOT fails to provide any near-term relief from Grand Street gridlock

Sean Quinn, Assistant Commissioner for street improvement projects at NYC Department of Transportation, visited the Community Board transportation committee last night to update CB and community members on DOT’s work to solve the gridlock around Grand Street caused by car traffic heading east across the Williamsburg Bridge.

Quinn gave a short presentation outlining two possible solutions, but did not present any proposal for the committee to vote on. He suggested he would be ready to do so in two months.

Quinn first listed several small changes that have been made to improve traffic flow toward the cramped Clinton Street on-ramp to the Williamsburg Bridge, admitting that none of these changes had made any significant impact.

He then discussed two possible solutions, both of which were first presented by community members at the GSD Traffic Town Hall in January 2018:

  • Opening Delancey Street under the bridge to thru traffic from the FDR Drive to the bridge entrance, in order to bypass Grand Street.
  • Forcing Grand Street traffic past Clinton Street (to Norfolk), in order to avoid the pinch-point at Grand & Clinton.

The first suggestion, he said, had been studied more completely, and presented several big challenges, including getting NYPD and FDNY to agree to having bridge traffic pass right by their stations at Pitt and Delancey. (Quinn said that neither department had yet been contacted to get feedback.)

The second suggestion, he said, had not yet been fully explored but looked more promising from a logistics point of view — but would not be able to be implemented until construction on Norfolk was complete, perhaps two years from now.

Community members asked questions and made further suggestions for over an hour, including many that have made repeatedly over the two years that we have been pursuing a solution to the traffic problem with DOT.

District Leader Daisy Paez presented Quinn with a petition with over 1000 signatures from community members demanding a solution to the gridlock.