The city plans to launch a traffic study of DUMBO early next year to investigate how the congested Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood could be safer for pedestrians and improve mobility, Streetsblog has learned. The city will examine camera data, traffic recordings and do walkthroughs, according to Council Member Lincoln Restler. Restler secured $600,000 in funding for the traffic study from $7 million in proceeds that came out of a 2021 city air rights sale for the 69 Adams building.
DUMBO’s population grew by 66 percent in just 10 years — from 3,604 residents in 2010 to 5,975 in 2020, according to Census figures. Meanwhile, car ownership more than doubled over the past decade and a half. 1,000 new parking spaces are brought to the neighborhood with just three new luxury residential developments. The new 727-unit mega-complex Front and York has 660 parking spots. A high-rise right next to the Manhattan Bridge at 69 Adams Street will come with 90 parking spots and the nearby Olympia will bring 220 parking spots to the neighborhood. The narrow streets of DUMBO were never made to handle these kinds of car volumes.
The traffic study will not consider a ban on cars in the neighborhood, but there have been calls for such a move. Some would like the city to be more ambitious and pedestrianize at least some of the neighborhood, others are advocating for residents parking only or to end the Open Streets program on car-free Washington Street.
In any case enhancing pedestrian safety and improving mobility is urgently needed in the neighborhood.