Elected officials are rallying to the cause of residents and business owners in Glendale who want the city to keep 74th Street as a southbound one-way street.
The Department of Transportation plans to redirect the street to one-way northbound at the conclusion of the $5.7 million construction project to renovate the Cooper Avenue underpass.
DOT Borough Commissioner Maura McCarthy told Community Board 5 last month that the reconfiguration is being done to make it safer for students to walk to and be dropped off at IS 119, which is located on the eastern side of 74th Street.
Residents and business owners have said, while construction work on the 1935 underpass is essential for travel and safety reasons, the rerouting of 74th Street will cause traffic bottlenecks and could result in the loss of street parking.
In a joint statement, City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) have asked McCarthy and the DOT to reconsider.
“I strongly urge the DOT to listen to the wishes of the community and reconsider,” Crowley said. “The attempt to calm traffic and improve safety is admirable, but the DOT is using outdated numbers.”
Crowley said the city’s data on traffic patterns and the organization plan of the school were taken two years ago, and will not be relevant when the school adds lower grades in the future.
“The plan is seeking to remedy a safety situation that may not even exist once PS/IS 119 is converted,” Miller said.
He and Addabbo said their main objection is the opposition of the community as a whole.
“The current plan ... will be detrimental to the small businesses that have been operating in the community for generations,” Addabbo said. “It will increase traffic volumes on the surrounding streets, making them more dangerous for the pedestrians and school children that use those streets on a daily basis.”
Miller said the plan should be subject to more public input.
The DOT did not respond to a request for comment by the Chronicle’s deadline.