By Gary Buiso
By year’s end, roadway relief is in store for stressed-out travellers navigating across the Brooklyn Bridge, officials announced this week.
The state Department of Transportation (DOT) has agreed to help facilitate low-tech changes to the southbound FDR Drive onto the Brooklyn Bridge, a nettlesome intersection that has long befuddled backed-up commuters.
The state agency reviewed conditions at the ramp at the behest of State Senator Daniel Squadron, who said he recently met with officials from the state agency to make the case for change, blaming unclear signage and not enough enforcement for some of the problems, which are exacerbated by cars merging late in the exit lane. “Anyone who has ever taken the Brooklyn Bridge knows how infuriating gridlock based on breaking the rules can be,” the state lawmaker said.
Squadron was able to get the state agency to agree to advocate for “common sense improvements that won’t solve everything but will make a big difference.”
Despite what other media are reporting, it will be the city DOT handling the changes, as the work falls under the city’s jurisdiction, according to Adam Levine, a spokesperson for the state DOT.“There are consistent backups on that exit ramp from the FDR to the Brooklyn Bridge,” Levine noted. The changes that the state helped facilitate are response to that “travelling reality,” he said.
The city DOT told this paper that it will be extending the barrier lane line, the solid line next to the skip lane line, by 200 feet from 560 feet to 760 feet. The barrier lane line, which extends north of the exit from southbound FDR Drive to the Brooklyn Bridge, lengthens the distance that it is illegal for motorists to enter the right (exit) lane from the center lane.The agency will also be adding three “Exit” word messages on the pavement prior to existing “Only” word messages.
The agency said it anticipates completing the work before the end of November.
Squadron said the New York Police Department has also committed to “regular and vigilant traffic enforcement” at the location. The long-term plan, the lawmaker added, is to have two-lane exits from the bridge so it may better accommodate traffic.