If you happened to park your car on Kent Avenue last Thursday evening, you probably found yourself in this position. Its seems that DOT came through on Friday and installed new parking signs, after months and months of no parking regulations whatsoever. And, of course, the traffic enforcement agents were following the work truck, probably issuing tickets before the cement holding the signs in place was dry.
So, after years of construction, dirt, noise, more dirt, etc., Kent Avenue is finally rebuilt. The street is like a runway now – prime territory for fast driving1. To hear old timers tell it, its just like the old days when people used to drag race on Kent Avenue. For the past couple of months, though, all the parked cars had a beneficial traffic calming effect. No more – DOT has made it pretty much impossible to park anywhere on Kent Avenue south (and probably north of) of Metropolitan. Which means that residents, like the folks on this block, can’t park in front of their house.
Worse, it means that Kent Avenue is now back to being a four lane highway, with ample room for impatient drivers to pass on either side. If you’re driving anywhere near the speed limit, expect to be passed – on either the right or the left. Last Friday, we counted at least five passing incidents on our walk from Broadway to Grand Street. It was bad enough before the no parking regs took effect (a double yellow line is apparently only advisory in Williamsburg).
It would be one thing if the parking regs served some higher purpose, but they do not. The regs on the Southside seem to be held over from the days of industry, when trucks routinely lined up to get into Domino, and industry thrived on Kent Avenue. Apparently, someone forgot to tell DOT about the rezoning. And about Schaeffer Landing, Kedem Winery and the New Domino. Instead, we now have block after block of No Parking Anytime on one side of the street, with loads of No Standing on the other. Where there is alternate side parking, one block is the special night regulations (around the nightclubs, of course), while the next is regular morning regulations. And then there’s this collection of signs just north of Schaeffer.
So thanks to DOT, if you live on or near Kent Avenue, you now have no place to park. And if you happen to find a spot on the other side of Kent Avenue, you will be taking your life into your own hands crossing the street. Good luck on both fronts.
1. We must confess to loving the little chicane where Kent transitions to Franklin Street at the Bushwick Inlet. This has been our favorite piece of two-wheel pavement for years, if only because its the closest thing to a twistie you’ll find in all of north Brooklyn. And if you time it right, you can hit that chicane at speed.↩