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Dangerous Road: Marine Park Traffic Island Nightmare

Drivers Literally 'Flipping Out' On NYC Dept. Of Transportation
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Gerritsen Avenue traffic island

Drivers in Marine Park, Brooklyn are furious over a traffic island on Gerritsen Avenue and Avenue U. (Photo credit: GerritsenBeach.net)

Marcia Kramer thumbnail Marcia Kramer
Marcia Kramer joined CBS 2 in 1990 as an investigative and political...
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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.

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