CBS 2 Goes Toe To Toe With NYC DOT Over Traffic IslandBy Marcia Kramer

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — New York City’s Department of Transportation has struck again.

The agency has installed traffic islands on Fort Hamilton Parkway — a busy road in Borough Park. Residents say the cement addition is causing chaos on the street, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports exclusively.

Ladder 114 was rushing to a recent fire in Borough Park when it ran smack dab into a new cement traffic island installed by the DOT. In a situation where seconds count, it lost valuable time trying to negotiate the island — and that’s just the beginning.

Members of the community said their biggest worry is that ambulances rushing to Maimonides Hospital won’t be able to get by.

“People have heart attacks when minutes are involved, could be dying in the ambulance and they have to stand here and wait because the city wants to make this foolish lane here,” said Rabbi William Handler of the Borough Park West Community Association.

“The irony of the whole thing is that they are packaging this as a life-saving project, but in effect they are doing just the opposite,” said Rabbi Chaim Israel of Community Planning Board 12.

And speaking of irony, Kramer was interviewing DOT Assistant Commissioner Ryan Russo about that very issue of safety when an ambulance — on an emergency run — came down the street.

Traffic and the barricade made the street impassable, so what did the ambulance driver do? He had no choice but to pull into the opposite lane, swerving around the barricade and moving against on-coming traffic to rush to the hospital.

Kramer: “Does that trouble you at all?”

Russo: “I think the ambulance, you know, made it through the intersection.”

Kramer: “How could that possibly be safe, what we just saw?”

Russo: “I can’t speak for the decision that the driver made.”

Kramer: “I just want to know having watched what that guy did if you think that that defines a safe way to do it?”

Russo: “We’re committed to making sure that the street, the traffic flows and emergency vehicles flow as good as or better than it was before.”

Kramer: “But how was that safe?”

Russo: “We’re working to make sure that the street is safe.”

Commissioner Russo also said the DOT received community board approval. The board, however, said no way.

“They told us it’s a fait accompli,” Rabbi Israel said. “I believe they are shoving this project down our throats.”

The island also makes it difficult for school buses to get by, small businesses are losing customers and stores can’t get deliveries. The owner of a local bakery had to park his truck on the sidewalk in order to load it.

The Hatzolah Ambulance Corps sent a letter to the community board Monday begging them to get the city to remove the barricades. The group’s senior coordinator said, “They are making it impossible for our emergency vehicles to safely pass.”

Marcia Kramer

Comments (30)
  1. Thomas says:

    Please don’t take it away… you can see, this is propaganda! it is merely 4 ft long AND the fire truck and ambulance could just mount that 6 inch curb if it were THAT much of an emergency in getting to the whatever! Check out the majority of men who are protesting this great addition by Ms. Kahn!

  2. Kevin says:


    There are real problems in this city. Stop your ridiculous, one-sided lobbying for cars, cars, cars over everything else.

  3. NSK says:

    B.S. news report that completely ignores the needs of other stakeholders. Blames potential problems on the median without any justification! Way to go (sarcasm just in case you too idiotic to catch the drift, Marcia – or, are you just too cynical simply content to sensationalize anything to make a living)

  4. Robert says:

    Please check other streets in Manhattan such as Allen Street.
    It seems that there is a lot of money in the city to spend on changes like,converting a 4 lane street into a traffic problem by blocking one lane to build a track lane.
    The track is rarely if ever used by the…. locals and the remaining 3 for parking, double park of unloading trucks and leaving only one for actually driving.
    Great idea and money well spent.

    Check it out

  5. MartinRN says:

    Let’s not kid ourselves, this has nothing to do with saving lives, it all has to do with these self proclaimed DOT machos. and thier personal egenda of making life miserable for people driving cars. In each borough they find a different reason and way to take away parking, to make it diffcult to drive, to make traffic jams & and to inconvienence motorists. Its also about Bloomberg’s “NYPD income department”.

    They dont care about how the local economy is effected, or what the local schools really have to say. It’s all about money and power.

    46th Street corner Ft Halmiton became a NO LEFT TURN intersection end of last week. Yesterday the NYPD was already issuing summonses to innocent people who did not know about it yet, or did not get to used to the new changes. it’s all about filling the budget holes, another way of taxing the middle class hard working people, this has nothing with safety.

    About the facts of fatalities that did happen on Ft. Halmilton Ave. Both of them did not happen while crossing the Avenue. The elderly that was killed on 49th street last year, she actually crossed the street and not the avenue and she had crossed while she had a red light, she walked in front of a big oil truck and there was no way the driver could have seen her. So this new Island would have done nothing to save her.

    the second one that died had Jay walked and crossed in middle of the block and it was dusk, she walked right into the path of uncoming traffic.

    I was actually at the scene I work for the hospital.

    So it is clear that the DOT is using the fatalities as excuse for thier irrational behavior. Interesting side note, there is no money in the budget for anything, but for these types of project they have the money, and work on it quick so that no one has time to protest or overturn thier selfish agenda decisions.

    Same with the way they are jamming down the bike lanes down everyones throats. the DOT is not held accountable to anyone they dont really follow any rules, Its Carzy what liberalism can do to a city.

    Traffic on Ft Halmilton this morning was on a stand still. It took me 10 minutes to get from 43rd street till 50th street. Imagine all the money being lost by these small buinesses. What about the Cleaners that can’t be in business if people cant stop and drop off thier clothing, what about the take out store or the bagel store that only survive from these customers that come in and out of the stores and need that parking? what about the 2 fruits store or the 2 grocery stores that depend on the traffis flow for thier business.

    What is interesting is that Liberals everywhere in NY or the USA back anything that hurts people with cars. they dont know any facts as to why the DOT did it? or if indeed it was needed or if it effect thousands of people. All the care that the Government should impose on our lives more and more. & try to make our lives as miserable as possible.

    I believe that its about time we take our country back from this insanity! Its time to throw these left wing nuts out of office. Its time they become accountable for what they do. Its time to rise and let our voices be heard.

    1. boof says:

      Everything about motor vehicles is socialistic. The infrastructure comes largely from the general fund, fuel is subsidized and supported by foreign wars, even the rest stops lose money. And yet you think it’s Liberals who somehow want to end this giveaway?

  6. Beth says:

    Thank god we have people like CBS2 to protect those most politically vulnerable – drivers. Preventing progress by spouting auto manufacturers propaganda is really what the founders wanted when they decided there should be freedom of the press. i’m so glad these are the people we depend on to get the truth to the people – way to take your responsibilities as a journalist seriously.

  7. Josh R says:

    How dare those pedestrians think they have the right to not be killed by a car. Everyone knows that walkers are not real human beings, you only become a human being worthy of respect when you get behind the wheel of a car!

  8. m says:

    Seriously? These were put in because there were several pedestrians killed at the intersections. Why is that not mentioned in the report?

    Also, there are medians all over suburbia. Why is CBS2 not doing an expose on that? This is a tiny median by comparison.

  9. KelBel says:

    Pedestrians account for the vast majority of traffic on NYC streets, but their needs aren’t even mentioned here. BOOOO

  10. m says:

    Truly terrible reporting. no background, no actual facts, just bloviating from a “journalist” who can’t see anything but from behind her windshield. CBS2, Marcia Kramer is an embarrassment. Fire her.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn’t the reporter even attempt to explain WHY the barricades were installed in the first place? Terrible reporting.

  12. Solomon says:

    Hey Marcia, did you happen to notice that the real reason the ambulance had to swerve was to avoid a double parked car in the middle of the lane? And then, that the lane was actually clear, and that the ambulance chose to go down the wrong way on the other street. Oh, that’s right, this is not a fact based news program…

  13. George says:

    Not sure why DOT is the bad guy here. Cheap shot CBS2.

  14. Jeff says:

    Such a shame. These private automobiles getting in the way of emergency vehicles.

    Car Bedlam!

  15. Steve says:

    Auto Uber Alles!

    Marcia Kramer is Always Right!
    Marcia Kramer knows the Truth!

  16. boof says:

    We should ban all non-emergency motor vehicles from our roads. That should speed up response times by a few orders of magnitude.

  17. Moshe says:

    I agree. If someone is having a heart attack where minutes count, we should get rid of the one thing that causes the most delay for ambulances…private vehicles. Plenty of ambulances all over the city drive into oncoming traffic and it isn’t because of pedestrian medians, its because of traffic. There are too many cars on the road.

Leave a Reply