StreetFilms: One Way is the Wrong Way

StreetFilms: One Way is the Wrong Way

Running time: 5 minutes 10 seconds

In Park Slope, Brooklyn, the Department of Transportation has put forward a plan to convert a pair of two-way neighborhood avenues to one-way operation. DOT says that the plan is designed strictly "to make it safer for pedestrians crossing the street," but the noisy, fast-moving traffic that we filmed on one-way Eighth Avenue, just a block up the hill, suggests that this plan is more about moving traffic than helping kids and elderly people cross the street. Watch as we use a speed gun and a noise meter to compare one-way Eighth Avenue and two-way Seventh Avenue. Then decide for yourself: Which type of street is more conducive to neighborhood life?

  • d

    Thank you for this. Well done.

    Regarding the statistics that the DOT is likely to roll out to make its case for the change, could it be that there are more accidents on 7th Avenue than on 8th because of all the businesses located there? Few people who live between 4th and 7th Avenues would have any reason to walk up to 8th Avenue just for a stroll, but since most of the grocery stores, drug stores, pizza places, coffee shops, and other businesses in the Slope are on 7th, it stands to reason that there would be more people on 7th, which would influence the statistics.

    The whole argument is a red herring. More people are involved in traffic accidents on 7th Avenue than on the sheep meadow in Central Park, but that doesn’t then mean that we should pave over the grass.

  • Great job. The speeds on those one ways is really scary. I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, but the difference in pedestrian mortality from crashes with automobiles is significantly greater as you go from 15-20mph to over 30mph. Instinctively, I think many pedestrians know this and steer clear of these streets.

    What speed does the DOT sequence lights for? the full 30 mph or something in the 20s?

  • Anon

    The best comparison would be between 8th Ave and 6th Ave. Both are purely residential, and one is oneway and the other is two-way. One thing to keep in mind is that 8th does have some higher densities on and near it, which could lead to higher pedestrian traffic and therefore more pedestrian accidents.

  • Daniel Millstone

    It seems to me that there is only one word for this (otherwise idiotic) proposal: Ratnerville. If we’re not careful, 6th, 7th & 8th Aves will into speedways for the excess traffic induced by the unplanned Atlantic Yards.

  • P

    I’ve heard that in some places the lights are timed for 35 mph. Don’t ask me why.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    This is great. It’d be nice to see one-way streets changed back to two-way all over the city.

    I spent some time once looking in the New York Times archives at articles about the conversions from two-way to one-way back in the 50s (IIRC). It was pretty hotly debated back then too. Too bad the two-way defenders lost.

  • lee

    as far as the timing goes i tested it tonight on ppw and if accellerate to 30 between lights i have to stop short for just a moment before the next light turns green.

    during off peak hours these should be an alternate pattern rather than a progression anyway.

  • Kay

    Beautiful, thank you! I came here from the link from Gothamist.

  • Dan

    One word: thisisfreakingreat!

  • ABG

    Can they write speeding tickets in the Tower of Fun?

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