Memo to People in Big Moving Boxes of Metal

by Jennifer Heller on September 6, 2010

Many of you, when I am bicycling, just sit there at the four-way intersection, even though you have the right-of-way, and even though I’ve stopped to indicate that it’s your turn. You think you are being nice to me by doing this. You are not. You are making my life more stressful. The purpose of right-of-way rules is to make intersection procedures predictable and orderly. By ignoring the rules, you fill the experience of being at the intersection with uncertainty. When you just sit there, nicely letting me go, I think, “maybe it’s one of those annoying people trying to be nice, or maybe it’s someone not paying attention, looking at a map or something, who might not see me and might drive into me if I go across.” Also, once I’ve stopped, you’re not making it any easier for me by letting me go — I’ve already sacrificed my momentum, and will have to make an exertion to get going again. Just play by the rules, please.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jeremy September 13, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I fully agree with the traffic caminlg proposals above.Of utmost priority, a pedestrian safety study needs to be conducted for the PS118 and PS124 schools to ensure the safety of our children, our caregivers and families in the neighborhood.Greenify the middle islands by planting trees.Add protected bike lanes. (if there is not enough space, maybe one direction on 4th Ave and one direction on 3rd Ave. The 3rd Ave bike lane has several breaks and is not continuous if I remember correctly, so this would need to be improved.)Near subway entrances, the middle islands of 4th Avenue need to be increased, particularly at Union and 4th Avenue. I see so many people waiting to cross at the tiny sliver of an island at this intersection. It becomes very crowded and is very unsafe.At Carroll and 4th Avenue, I have seen many cars not see this light and run it, particularly in the northbound lane, probably because it is a short block away from the light at Garfield St. This needs to be more noticeable somehow, perhaps by adding neckdowns and more visibly painted/marked crosswalks with landscaping. This is also a widely used crosswalk for The Children’s School. Moreover, during heavy rains, the water collects and floods (to above the knees during Hurricane Irene!). This presents a dangerous situation with the manholes being lifted and for cars getting stuck, so drainage needs serious improvement.Additionally, the auto mechanic shops and car washes along 4th Avenue park cars in the sidewalk, impeding pedestrian traffic flow and creating possible safety hazards, not only from the movements of cars, but the soap, wax, and oil that get on the sidewalks. The sidewalks are supposed to be public walkways and yet they are impeded by these private businesses.And this is more of a quality of life issue, but I would love to see billboards be banned from 4th Avenue so that it has more of a residential feel and more of the charm of a Brooklyn neighborhood.


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