Elected officials, residents call for MTA to provide contingency plan when Verrazano Bridge closes

Residents in Bay Ridge say the bridge closing causes unsafe streets and major traffic jams.

News 12 Staff

Jan 12, 2024, 11:25 PM

Updated 189 days ago


Elected officials and residents gathered Thursday to call on the Metropolitan Transportation Agency to provide a contingency plan to regulate traffic when the the Verrazano Bridge is closed.
Residents in Bay Ridge say the closing causes unsafe streets and major traffic jams. The upper level of the bridge closes when conditions are unsafe to travel across, especially for trucks. However, once trucks are unable to cross, they're forced to use the residential streets of Bay Ridge which causes congested roads.
People in the area say the streets become one huge parking lot. And in order to beat traffic, they say drivers become impatient by making u-turns in the middle of the street, driving on sidewalks where pedestrians are, and even driving down the wrong side of two-way streets.
Officials say something needs to be put in place to have safe and orderly alternative routes for vehicles.
"We support when the bridge is closed in order to keep people safe because you can't have trucks on the bridge with 60 mph winds. But that same spirit of public safety has to then reach over into the contingency plan for what happens to those neighborhoods surrounding the bridge, not just here in southern Brooklyn, but also in Staten island," said Council Member Justin Brannan.
MTA Bridges and Tunnels said it places the bans and that the Department of Transportation and the NYPD enforce them. Impacted residents say they are just looking for a solution.
MTA Bridges and Tunnels announced that another ban on empty tractor-trailers and tandem trucks will go into effect from 9 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Saturday due to expected high winds.
News 12 reached out to NYPD for a statement and was still waiting for a response as of Friday evening.

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