Volume 22, Number 23 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | October 16 - 22, 2009
City & residents going in different directions on Fulton
The city Dept. of Transportation made several small changes to the intersection of Fulton and Gold Sts. after residents complained that it was unsafe for pedestrians, but residents say more changes are needed.
There are stop signs at the intersection, but they are hard to see because of the ongoing Fulton water main construction and the recently begun work on DeLury Square Park. Cars frequently run the stop signs and residents say it is difficult to cross.
In response, the D.O.T. made slight adjustments to the stop signs to ensure they were visible, painted a stop message and crosswalks on the street and added a “stop ahead” sign on Gold St., said Josh Kraus, who works for the D.O.T.’s Lower Manhattan office.
Some of the residents at Community Board 1’s Seaport Committee meeting Tuesday night had not noticed the changes and said they were not sufficient.
“It’s dangerous,” Paul Hovitz said. “Something bad is going to happen.”
Residents suggested a blinking red light or speed bumps, and Kraus said he would look into those options.
Regardless of what D.O.T. decides on that intersection, much of Fulton St. is about to undergo some dramatic traffic changes. Around Oct. 23, the city plans to reopen Gold St. between Fulton and John Sts. and Fulton St. from Gold St. to Church St. Those sections have long been closed to traffic because of water main and other work.
The D.O.T. is also considering another change to the traffic pattern to accommodate New York City Transit duct work near DeLury Square, and that change is looking less popular: The D.O.T. wants to make Fulton St. one-way westbound all the way from Pearl St. to Church St. The section from Pearl St. to Gold St. is now two-way.
“Oh my god, what a nightmare,” said Ann DeFalco, a Southbridge Towers resident and C.B. 1 member.
The traffic pattern could go into effect later this year and last through much of 2011, said Shane Ojar with the city Dept. of Design and Construction. Reducing the amount of traffic flowing on Fulton St. will allow the duct work to take place more expeditiously, he said.
Rather than using Fulton St., cars traveling eastbound would use John St. or Frankfort St. DeFalco and others said those streets are already backed up, and it would be too taxing for them to handle Fulton St. traffic as well.
“I understand the job’s got to get done, but we’ve put up with so much already,” said John Fratta, chairperson of the Seaport Committee.
DeFalco suggested keeping the street two-way and using traffic flaggers in the narrow section to alternate westbound and eastbound traffic. Kraus said he would look into it, but it would be expensive to post flaggers 24 hours a day.