To ‘B’ or Not to ‘B’ a One-Way

Last night at Community Board 3’s traffic and transportation committee meeting, the issue on everybody’s mind was whether to convert Avenue B into a one-way street. As it stands now, residents and business owners (with the possible exception of nightclub owners; nary a one showed up at the meeting) are fed up with traffic and nightlife-fueled problems in the ‘hood.

Reactions to the proposal were mixed. Most people were worried that the character of the neighborhood would be changed beyond recognition–from the quaint village-y “Main Street” it resembles now to a thoroughfare-bisected 14-block stretch that cars would use to zoom up to 14th Street from the Billyburg Bridge (or vice versa, depending on the direction of the road).

Representatives from both the Ninth Precinct and the Department of Transportation attended the meeting, but in an advisory capacity; neither wanted to advocate, for now, a change.

According to district manager Susan Stetzer, the D.O.T. will now meet with the Police Department to try to come up with a solution to the traffic on Avenue B, and the D.O.T. will come back to the board with its suggestions.

There was consensus, though, on one issue: the need to stop approving liquor licenses for new restaurants and bars in the nightclub-oversaturated area. The first big battle is at the State Liquor Authority hearing for EU, a new club that’s due to open at 235 East Fourth Street, at the corner of Avenue B, which is ground zero for traffic and noise problems according area residents. Mr. Crane and Ms. Stetzer implored everyone to show up en masse to get the S.L.A. to deny the license at the hearing, which will be on Dec. 13 at 317 Lenox Avenue (at 126th Street), fourth floor, at 11 a.m.

-Matthew Grace

To ‘B’ or Not to ‘B’ a One-Way