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A Sheepshead Bay lawmaker wants to ease traffic on congested Voorhies Avenue by turning it into a one-way street, but locals say his plan will worsen traffic flow.
“I don’t like that idea at all,” said Dennis Roitman, co-owner of Cupcakes King on Voorhies Avenue near Sheepshead Bay Road. “Cars will have to travel all the way around, in a circle, to get places.”
Councilman Mike Nelson (D-Sheepshead Bay) announced at the March 29 Community Board 15 meeting that he wants to convince the city to convert Voorhies Avenue into a westbound-only route between Ocean Avenue and Sheepshead Bay Road, a three-block stretch that gets clogged by cars traveling to the Belt Parkway, the Sheepshead Bay Road train station, a nearby Waldbaum’s, and dozens of other stores.
“If the street becomes a one-way, then the left side of the street can be dedicated to a left-turn-only lane along with a left-turn signal at Sheepshead Bay Road to make the flow of traffic better,” said Nelson’s spokesman Steve Zeltser. Nelson’s office is located on the street, between Sheepshead Bay Road and E. 16th Street.
But many people fear that redirecting vehicles would cause other streets to get backed up. Vehicles headed east that would have been allowed to go down Voorhies would be forced onto Avenue Z, Emmons, or Jerome avenues. And they make take Sheepshead Bay Road to get there, a stretch that is already overrun by livery cabs and the B49 bus.
“The traffic in Times Square will probably be better,” lamented Albert Mammon, of the legendary barbershop Mr. Figaro Unisex Hairstyling on Avenue Z between E. 19th Street and Ocean Avenue.
But not everyone in town is so down on Nelson’s traffic alleviating ambitions. Some say that converting Voorhies Avenue into a one-way path is one of the many changes that should be made.
“I think the one-way street is a good idea, but I don’t think it’s enough” said Robert Fernandez, Sheepshead Bay resident and founder of the annual Grillin’ on the Bay contest. “I’ve lived in the neighborhood for over 20 years and that intersection has always been a nightmare.”
City officials say they have not yet been contacted by Nelson, but would be willing to investigate if his request can help traffic flow better, according to Department of Transportation spokesman Monty Dean.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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