Since the end of May, when the Department of Transportation surprised southbound Brooklyn drivers on Coney Island and Banner Avenues with a “No Left/No U-Turn” traffic sign, thousands of drivers have unceremoniously chosen to ignore that sign.
The DOT placed the sign without any advance warning, but never mind; drivers still feel comfortable holding up traffic behind them as they navigate the left turn to either drive up Banner Avenue or else make the U-turn which will take them onto the service road that leads to Shore Parkway.
This move by DOT comes over two years after local leaders fought a similar traffic change which would have eliminated left turns onto Guider Avenue off of southbound Coney Island Avenue. That proposal was the result of a seven-year study of the area’s traffic accidents. That fight was joined by former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who wrote a letter about it to the DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.
Those in opposition to that plan said that it was dangerous to divert traffic onto Neptune Avenue from southbound Coney Island Avenue. Neptune Avenue is already full of traffic, with bus stops on the corner adding to the congestion. Drivers who are heading for the Belt Parkway will have no choice but to go down East 12th Street- a dangerous proposition since that street has no traffic light; or else to turn down East 14th Street adjacent to Bay Academy, raising the risk for students in the area.
That particular proposal never materialized, and seems to have gone into hibernation at the DOT. But now Brooklyn drivers are forced to face the new signage, but are coolly ignoring it.