Park Slope Parents Win Traffic Battle, Lose Composure

Park Slope residents continued to set the standard for urban self-regard last night at New York Methodist Hospital, killing a Department of Transportation proposal in overwrought style. The department had proposed making Sixth and Seventh Avenues one-way in order to reduce traffic accidents. Local outcry was so strong — they suspected a cabal to hurtle Nets fans through the streets — the proposal was pretty much dead before the meeting even started. Since the lecture room was packed with about 250 people, another 200 clogged an anteroom in hopes of telling off Deputy Commissioner Michael Primeggia and giving their children (many of whom were, of course, there) a civics lesson.

When Primeggia mentioned that his street was one-way and quiet, a “Who cares where you live!” burst from the anteroom. “Bullshit!” one man yelled when Primeggia tried to tell council member David Yassky about the plan’s merits. Even political fear-mongering had its place: State Senator Eric Adams declared one-way streets “an invitation to drag racing.” (Meetcha at 74th and Columbus, Senator!) Eventually, protesters chanting on the street drowned out the protester at the microphone, and DOT ditched the plan. Bette Blank, a Sixth Avenue resident and lawyer, told us that Primeggia earned the vitriol because he “doesn’t understand this community.” Presumably he does now. —Alec Appelbaum