Bay Ridge residents wanted a solution to lawless drivers. They got yellow paint.

Meaghan McGoldrick

October 02, 2019

Originally published in Brooklyn Eagle on October 02, 2019.

At night, a four-block stretch of 86th Street becomes a track for drag racers and stunt drivers pulling donuts. Locals demanded the Department of Transportation reconfigure the roadway to make that impossible. What they got was yellow paint.

Officials say the project — which includes the installation of painted center medians, speed cushions and a bike lane in each direction from Shore Road to Third Avenue — was first introduced years ago, and was repeatedly sent back to the DOT by the local community board and area reps with suggestions.

As work gets underway, neighbors and elected officials are calling it a non-solution.

“I fell off my seat when I heard that one of the reasons [the DOT is] looking to do this has anything to do with the drag racing,” Matthew Daus, a longtime resident of 86th Street between Colonial Road and Narrows Avenue, told the Eagle. “I’m woken up every other night by drag racing. Putting lines on the street to stop it is the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard.”

Councilmember Justin Brannan and State Sen. Andrew Gounardes said the agency needs to do more.

“The residents of 86th Street went to DOT hoping they could help them with a very clear problem: drag racing and cars doing donuts at night. This plan will not solve that problem,” said Brannan.

“Anyone who lives along this corridor knows that some yellow paint in the street is not going to stop reckless driving, drag racing or drivers doing donuts and burning rubber after dark.”

The councilmember, who slammed the city agency on Twitter on Tuesday for similar painted medians near Poly Prep, said he was hoping for a design mirroring Manhattan’s Park Avenue, which features concrete pedestrian islands and plantings.