Bay Ridge — Councilman Vincent Gentile said he’s skeptical that the Department of Transportation’s traffic safety plan for 86th Street is workable.
“My aim is to make sure our streets are safer and I felt this plan still needed work to make sure our goal is accomplished,” Gentile told Community Board 10 members at the board’s March 19 meeting.
The plan by the Dept. of Transportation (DOT), presented to Board 10’s Traffic and Transportation Committee on March 14, calls for, among other things: the elimination of a traffic lane in each direction, and a ban on left-hand turns onto 86th Street from Third and Fourth Avenues.
Gentile said he thinks DOT engineers should go back to the drawing board and come up with a better plan. “I am confident that there is a way we can make the entire corridor safer without squeezing congestion out to the side streets and creating a brand-new set of pedestrian safety concerns,” he said.
In other news, Gentile said he is concerned about the loss of more than three dozen parking spaces along Shore Road. A city-funded construction project taking place on Shore Road near 86th Street has caused the loss of parking spaces on third blocks, he said.
The next phase of the construction project will involve work on Shore Road from Oliver Street to 99th Street, according to Gentile, who said he will work to alleviate the parking crunch.
Gentile also announced that he is introducing a bill that would prohibit employers from advertising jobs in which “Unemployed Need Not Apply.”
Too many employers advertise that they want workers, but only workers who are currently employed, according to Gentile. “It really is a Catch-22,” he said. People who are unemployed need work, but employers are only interested in hiring people who have a job already, he said.
His bill would make it illegal for employers to discriminate against the unemployed, he said.
Gentile, chairman of the City Council’s Select Committee on Libraries, said the mayor’s proposed city budget would hit libraries hard. The three public library systems in the city — New York, Brooklyn, and Queens — would face a combined budget cut of $100 million, Gentile said. The Brooklyn Public Library would be hit with a $27 million cut, he said.
“We have our job cut out for us,” he said, referring to the effort he and library advocates will wage to prevent funding cuts.
— Paula Katinas