Dangerous Road: Marine Park Traffic Island Nightmare

Drivers Literally 'Flipping Out' On NYC Dept. Of Transportation

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The Department of Transportation has struck again. This time it’s a pedestrian island in Marine Park, Brooklyn.

It’s great for pedestrians, but a nightmare for drivers.

As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports, people are infuriated that an island is causing nothing but trouble.

It’s a busy intersection that local residents say was made more dangerous when the city DOT decided to take away a lane of traffic and install the pedestrian island. Just how dangerous is it? Kramer got a first-hand look.

Drivers have been flipping over the traffic island at Gerritsen Avenue and Avenue — and Kramer means that literally — flipping onto their roofs because they hit the island.

Local store owner George Ortiz saw a car flipped a few weeks ago.

“It was an elderly lady who was making the turn and the front of her car hit the bollard and the car just flipped over and slid over into the sidewalk,” Ortiz said.

In the 47 days that Ortiz has operated a liquor store across from the traffic island he has seen three accidents. He said he’s terrified because he works with his back to the intersection.

“I’m afraid a car may come swirling into the store,” Ortiz said.

But that’s not the only problem. Sources tell Kramer that firemen from Engine 321 sometimes have trouble getting out when traffic backs up because of the island. State Sen. Martin Golden said that’s a worry in a neighborhood with many wood-framed buildings.

“You need to get those fire trucks to those fires quickly to save lives. That should be the priority,” Golden said.

Bobby Farber, a DOT subcontractor who lives in Marine Park, got out of his car to explain the hazards — long waits to turn, and constant traffic.

“What happens is guys get crazy. They start inching up. They all converge together. They beep their horns, people hit each other,” Farber said.

Cars cut through a parked lot to avoid the intersection.

“One guy that sits here, he got hit on his bike. He has a lawsuit,” local employee Jason Polk said.

“It’s not working out too well,” added Marine Park resident Frank Aiese.

The DOT said it’s looking into the situation. Senator Golden wants it reevaluated.

You know of a dangerous road near where you live and are wondering whose bright idea it was to make it that way? Well, please click here.

More from Marcia Kramer
  • Reid Markov

    This must be the CBS affiliate in some rural area where everyone has to drive everywhere. Oh, wait, it’s in New York? You mean the city of New York? My bad. I guess I haven’t been there in a while, because I remember the city having pedestrians.
    Ah, well. Pedestrians can get their own TV station, I guess.

  • Jan O'Reilly

    I don’t think it’s necessary to attack Marcia. We should offer her encouragement to approach subjects fairly, even if — especially if — she goes in feeling strongly about an issue. The job of a journalist is to bring an evenhanded approach that helps illuminate all sorts of angles on an issue, not just two (or one, as presented here). There is a place for advocacy, but it’s not here.

  • Brian Van Nieuwenhoven

    So, the only way they can hit this pedestrian island and flip over is if they leave their lane of traffic and hit it while going faster than the posted speed limit of 30mph.

    So the problem isn’t the island, it’s the reckless drivers who hit it.

    This is sloppy, irresponsible reporting. I’m sure this story, absent many relevant facts supporting a different conclusion, appeals to stressed drivers across the region who have had enough with traffic problems. Essentially, you’re willing to be totally wrong about something because it makes “great news”, and I’m pretty sure that’s not an accident here. Thanks for ruining our city one stupid news report at a time, hope you got great ratings along the way, and we’ll make sure to put in more of these much-needed safety zones in the streets after you and all your jerkface driver friends out there are too old and senile to vote anymore. (Hopefully sooner rather than later!)

  • http://ontransport.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/a-contextual-ad-on-cbs-new-yorks-web-site/ A contextual ad on CBS New York’s web site « On Transport

    […] the station that presents pedestrian islands as safety hazards for cars, a screenshot presented without […]

  • Steve

    Marcia, thanks for reminding me why I never watch CBS news or anything else on CBS any more. I don’t need your big lie approach to news, and I don’t need to be watching your advertisements either.

    It was chance that I had CBS tuned during this traffic “report.” It won’t happen again. There are many other places for me to get my news and spend my time.

    CBS, you want my eyes and ears back on your station?
    Send Marcia Kramer and her news editors to Somalia where they can enjoy streets with no government traffic restrictions of any kind. They will either enjoy it there, or get the civics education they have been missing.

  • Chris O'Leary

    Marcia, go back to the suburbs and cover the “news” there. You obviously have no place in this city, since you seemingly have never even had to cross a street.

    These islands save lives and calm traffic to protect pedestrians. There are studies that prove this. But why even bother to mention that? You have an agenda, and it has no place in journalism. You are a shame to the profession.

  • jimbo

    Let’s see if we can get Marcia to visit one of these god-awful pedestrian islands just before the crazy driver approaches the island and flips, not after. Then we won’t have to hear anymore of her fuel-injected drivel.

  • d

    What is with Kramer’s bizarre war on pedestrians and cyclists? Thankfully, most residents of New York don’t agree and the city is, in spite of strange campaign, passing her by, and becoming a nicer, safer and more livable city. But don’t worry, Marcia, there are still plenty of cities in the US for you to live in that are totally given over to cars, in which SUV’s run down pedestrians with impunity, in which children have nowhere to bike, even if NY is no longer going to be one of them.

  • Dom I

    Did Marcia Kramer interview any children or seniors whose lives are being saved by this island? Apparently not.

  • Josh

    Marcia Kramer is so pro-car, I am tired of her reporting, CBS is not reporting the news but rather supporting their advertisers with made up stories

  • Eric Boucher

    I saw an idear in the forest once. Beautiful animal that!

  • gary

    Let’s just pull out all the sidewalks too and turn them into additional driving and parking lanes and force everyone to go everywhere by car. Those pedestrians are a real nuisance when trying to speed through Brooklyn.

  • http://afto22.com/dangerous-road-marine-park-traffic-islandnightmare/12670/ Dangerous Road: Marine Park Traffic Island Nightmare | After Today News

    […] P&#1077r&#1110l&#959&#965&#1109 Road: Marine Park Traffic Island Nightmare Tags: accidents, bollard, local store, pedestrians, roofs, traffic island […]

  • Steve B

    This coverage is pretty insulting to anyone who walks in New York City. Before this pedestrian refuge was installed, crossing was a nightmare.

    I find it interesting that the DOT contractor points out how impatient driver behavior is what’s wrong with this picture, but CBS refuses to put any responsibility on the driver.

    Our roads are changing, and NYC is leading the way towards making our streets safer. People driving might have to just slow down and pay attention a bit more, be careful out there!

  • Jacob

    You have to be going pretty damn fast to flip in a car like that. This driver would have likely killed someone (or many people) if they continued at that speed. I this case they hit a stationary object, not in a traffic lane. Pretty reckless, by any account.

    Should we do as Marcia Kramer says, and make sure our streets accomodate reckless driving like this? Or should we design our streets to protect the most vulnerable among us, the elderly and our children? The choice is ours.

  • Marty Barfowitz

    Marcia Kramer needs to get a life.

  • giovanni davinci

    The brain that installed islands all over the boro is not thinking out of the box, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that a city like new york that is expanding with people and cars at such a rapid rate the last thing you want to do is take a lane out. Snow is coming do you remember where they put that island?

  • Mike

    As a parent, I say If it’s “great for pedestrians”, then let’s keep it!

  • Steve

    We can’t have those damned concrete islands suddenly leaping up to block our speeding cars. Damn, what kind of idiot wants drivers to drive below 30 miles per hour anyway? Everyone knows the speed limit is the minimum speed allowed on the street. How can anyone expect drivers to drive no faster than they can see to stop. Unconscionable.

    Marcia, you are a genius in the way you put pedestrians in their place, on their backs, under the car. You are so undervalued by CBS. You have all the weight to be the best TV anchor. Better than all your piers.

    We need your skills to keep pedestrians from blocking the roads, so New Yorkers can buy more cars, burn more imported gas and take up more parking spaces all over this wonderful city.
    Don’t slow down! Don’t put on the brakes! Don’t stop! Ever, anywhere, for anything!

    Auto Uber Alles, Baby!

  • Joey

    The brain that decided to put this island in should be fired. This was a disaster from the begining . Everyone new it except the morons who thought this idear up.

    • Sane New Yorker

      Shame on you for supporting murderers behind the wheel.

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