GSD Traffic Committee

May 2024 Update

We are basically waiting to see what shakes out when congestion pricing rolls in at the end of June; the DoT has taken a ‘wait-and-see’ approach to any more big changes in the neighborhood;

Some of the recurring issues: 

  • No Right Turn from Grand to Clinton Pilot Program
    • It appears that the level of illegal turns have subsided somewhat, both at Grand and Clinton and at Grand and Norfolk. 
    • There are occasionally traffic enforcement agents (TEAs) who try to prevent illegal turns, but no one I know has reported seeing the NYPD issuing summons for illegal turns
    • Matt Marello waged a persistent campaign writing to Google to remove the illegal right-hand turn from its directions, and Google finally did so;
    • Unfortunately, Google Maps is now telling drivers to go south on Clinton and then make an illegal u-turn in order to go north to the Williamsburg Bridge. We will need to do a crowd-sourced complaint to Google in order to get that to stop;
    • The DoT is supposed to reassess the ‘pilot’ after a year, which will be coming up sometime this July, but again, they will probably wait until congestion pricing shakes out before they make any more changes.
  • Some Good News: The NYS Assembly and Senate passed “Sammy’s Law”, allowing NYC to lower the speed limit on some streets from 25mph to 20mph; 
  • Other efforts by GSD members:
    • Tony Alfieri has been waging a persistent letter writing campaign with our NYS elected officials:
      • To support the “Red Light Camera” bill to allow NYC to install and operate more red light cameras;
      • To push the DoT and MTA to install more air quality monitors in the area of Grand and the FDR in preparation for congestion pricing;   
    • Tina Carr was struck by a car turning left at Clinton and East Broadway on Valentine’s Day. Tina escaped serious injury, but her dog ran away and was eventually found that day in Brooklyn! Tina is working on having a rally-type event on the corner to push the DoT to:
      • Include Sundays on the rule prohibiting LEFT Turns from East Broadway onto Clinton from 4pm-12am) be extended to include Sundays.
      • Designate the intersection of East Broadway & Clinton as a “Don’t Block the Box” intersection, with street markings and signs stating the penalties of blocking the box.
      • Assign traffic enforcement agents to monitor that intersection to prevent illegal left turns and blocking of the box, and to give summonses for the latter.
      • The tentative date is Sunday, May 19th.

Elevator Accessibility at Essex-Delancey Subway Station:

We continue working on a campaign to push the MTA to upgrade the Essex-Delancey subway station (the 29th busiest station in the entire subway system of 400+ stations) with elevator accessibility in the MTA’s next Five Year Capital Plan (2025-2029).

  • Multiple community organizations have been involved:
    • Daisy Paez, local district leader from the 3 Bridges Democratic Club;
    • SALT (Senior Advocacy Leadership Team);
    • Manny Cantor Center;
    • UA3 Food Pantry
  • We have gathered over 1300 signatures on petitions (in Spanish, English, and Chinese);
    • Daisy, Chi Loek of UA3, and I presented the petitions to the MTA at a full MTA board meeting at the end of March. An MTA representative contacted us to arrange a meeting about the issue;
  • Simaultaneously, our elected officials (Goldman, Kavanagh, Lee, Marte) had a second meeting in March with the MTA, and more importantly, including the Delancey Street Associates (DSA), the people responsible for Essex Crossing, because there is some contention whether an an easement from DSA is needed to build the elevators near the old Essex Market building;
  • We have developed maps that illustrate that at least, and maybe three of the elevators, can be installed without the need of an easement.
  • This is a work-in-progress.

If you want to join the Traffic Working Group, point your phone here …

December 2023 Update

DoT came to a CB3 Transportation Committee meeting on 12/5/2023 to discuss local traffic. Issues:

  • No Right Tu:rn from Grand to Clinton Pilot Program: There was a lot of discussion about the “No Right Turn from Grand to Clinton”
  • Impact at Grand Street traffic turning onto Clinton
  • Impact at Grand Street traffic at Norfork
  • Impact on Clinton Street traffic at E. Broadway
  • Other Intersections
  • Based on community input, DoT has since: Installed a promised stop light at Broome & Clinton; Clarified “No Left Turn” for eastbound traffic on Grand trying to turn onto Norfolk; Added more TEAs on Norfolk to enforce the turning regimen.

DoT claims they are going to re-assess when the pilot is over after 1 year.

If you want to join the Traffic Working Group, point your phone here …

June 2022 Update

ACTION ITEM: Call on our state legislators to reauthorize NYC’s speed safety camera program with no restrictions on hours of operation.
Tell them you want 24/7 speed safety cameras. Here’s what you can say:
“I want New York City’s streets protected from speeding drivers every hour of every day. Please reauthorize the speed safety camera program without restrictions on times and days of operation.”

Together, we can push this bill over the finish line — and more than double the hours that New Yorkers are protected from speeding drivers.

  •  Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou (518.455.3640 or 212.312.1420)
  • Senator Brian Kavanagh (518.455.2625 or 212.298.5565)

Questions? Suggestions? Contact Bill Ferns or join the Traffic Working Group Action Volunteers

May 2022 Update

The Traffic Committee is looking for people who are willing to mobilize on traffic issues: writing letters to our elected officials, CB3 or call 311. There is power in our voices. Sign up here. GSD plan to have members hold a discussion on congestion pricing in the near future. 

Traffic Working Group Message – March 29, 2022

Traffic Working Group (TWG) Colleagues:

ACTION ITEM: Sign Transportation Alternative’s online petition to our legislators to give NYC ‘home rule’ on traffic control cameras:
This will take only a minute…please do it:

BACKGROUND: Traffic cameras (red light cameras, speed cameras, bus lane cameras) have been shown to reduce accidents, reduce personal injury and property damage, and augment NYPD enforcement. NYS Law, however, limits the number of cameras that NYC can use to only 150 active cameras; this has been the case since 1994 (

I discovered recently that one of our incumbent legislators was not aware of the traffic camera law nor of the limitation the state has imposed on NYC regarding traffic control cameras ( With this being a state election year, now is the time to press for changes to this law. This petition will go to Governor Hochul and our state representatives (in our case, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, and State Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou) asking them to work to change the law and allow NYC “home rule” in setting up traffic cameras. 


 If you willing to volunteer to take some action to fix our traffic mess, sign up at:
If you have questions, contact me at . 

Bill Ferns My pronouns: he / him / his


NYS Traffic Camera Law:
Data on Traffic Camera Efficacy:

March 2022 Update

1. 44 people have signed on to the TWG, 12 since last GSD meeting. We are building an ‘Action Volunteer’ list – 15 people so far. We need more folks – this is really a non-partisan organizing opportunity
2. The CB3 Transportation, Public Safety, & Environment Committee met a second time on Tuesday, February 8th to hear the DoT’s proposed plan for Grand/Clinton Street;
-DoT claims changes would be ‘self-enforcing’There were no provisions for bus lanes or pedestrian / bicyclist safety;
-DoT said the plan could increase traffic throughput by 13%
-The centerpiece of DoT plan is a ‘no right-hand turn” from w/b Grand onto Clinton, and sends w/b traffic down to Norfolk to get to Delancey.
-The proposal was mostly small tweaks but still keeps Grand Street as an on-ramp to the Williamsburg Bridge.
-We are discussing how to best address this proposal: Ideas range from pushing CB3 to not endorse it to pushing DoT to clarify a lot of the vague details in the plan;
-The Transportation Committee rejected the proposal;
-The full CB3 also rejected the DoT proposal on 2/22;
-Thanks goes to Michelle Kuppersmith and Lee Berman, who are on the CB3 Transportation Committee, and lots of TWG and neighbors who showed up at the CB3 meetings;
-It is entirely possible that the DoT will ignore CB3’s position

The Working Group Proposal:
Based on participants’ feedback, the TWG has developed a clear set of goals (aka ‘wants’) that IPP Jeremy Sherber has put together in a handout

-The basics:Essex Crossing becomes primarily a pedestrian mall;
-A bus lane for the westbound M14A;
-Two-way bike lane on the south side of Grand Street to consolidate the bike lanes and allow more space for the proposed bus lane;
-Consistent but random traffic & parking enforcementAmending current NYS Traffic Light laws;
-Making the Essex / Delancey subway stop fully accessible

There has been some progress:
-DoT has put up more safety barriers along the Clinton Street bike lanes from South Street to Delancey;
-The pedestrian signal at the corner of Delancey and Clinton was askew so that it wasn’t viewable, but a couple of calls to 311 got DoT out to fix it;
-Capt. Barcia of the 7th Precinct has found some funding for part-time traffic enforcement agents (TEAs) on the corner of Grand and Clinton
-Relentless 311 reports have started to have an effect on truck parking in the pedestrian crosswalk and bike lanes on Clinton Street, although there are still offenders;
-Katie Archer from Essex Crossing community affairs is interested in our efforts because of our pedestrian-friendly orientation.

February 2022 Update

The Community Board 3 (CB3) Transportation, Public Safety, Sanitation & Environment Committee met on Tuesday, February 8th to consider a proposal by the NYC Department of Transportation (DoT)  to modify some street directions; ­essentially to create “No Right Turn” from westbound Grand Street onto Clinton, rather having the Grand Street traffic go two more blocks to Norfolk, to turn right to go to Delancey.

 The Traffic Working Group organized opposition to the DoT proposal for several reasons:

  1. The DoT was seeking to increase the number of cars going through the neighborhood on Grand Street by 13%;
  2. The DoT plan would only slow the westbound M14A bus by keeping it in Williamsburg Bridge traffic for two more blocks;
  3. The DoT plan ignored other problem intersections like Madison & Grand and East Broadway & Clinton;
  4. The DoT plan did not address Local Law 195 which requires more pedestrian space and an emphasis on pedestrian and cyclist safety;
  5. The DoT plan did not include any enforcement measures either for moving violations or for illegal parking, and had not consulted the NYPD on the plan.

Multiple members of the Traffic Working Group (TWG) attended the committee’s meeting by Zoom to express opposition. Michelle Kuppersmith and Lee Berman are on the committee, and they, along with other TWG and GSD members, provided persuasive arguments and video evidence to convince the committee to vote unanimously on NOT endorsing the DoT plan. The committee’s resolutions were:

  • Resolved: Community Board 3 does not support in full DOT plans to mitigate traffic and safety at and near the intersection of Grand Street at Clinton Street as detailed above, especially plans to widen Norfolk Street; and
  • Resolved: Community Board 3 requests that DOT return expediently with a comprehensive plan that includes traffic re-design and public space study for the area to mitigate traffic and safety that centers residents, pedestrians, and cyclists and does not increase the volume of cars traveling through the neighborhood and includes information about how traffic will be re-distributed around the neighborhood between East Houston Street and South Street.
  • Resolved: in addition to DOT’s proposal to increase the number of Jersey barriers protecting the existing Clinton Street bike lane between Grand Street and Delancey Street, Community Board 3 also supports fully protecting the Clinton Street bike lane between South Street and East Houston Street from incursions by vehicles with physical controls that may include: Jersey barriers, static (not plastic) bollards, and/or raising the bike lanes above the street grade.

This is definitely a win for our side, but the full Community Board 3 will have to approve these resolutions, so SAVE THE DATE and come to the CB3 meeting on Tuesday, February 22 to support bringing traffic sanity back to the neighborhood. We’ll provide the meeting details in next week’s newsletter.