Traffic on Harding Avenue a familiar headache for Locust Point residents

Posted: Updated:

Residents in Locust Point are fed up with a traffic nightmare they say has been going on for decades.

The mile-long stretch between Randall and Harding avenues is known for bringing cars to a standstill, especially when construction is happening on the Throggs Neck Bridge. Officials previously closed an entrance ramp on Harding Avenue to alleviate the backup on back roads near the bridge.

However, that entrance was reopened a few years ago, and neighbors say new construction has brought things right back to a standstill.

Members of the Locust Point Civic Association and Community Board 10 reached out to the MTA as recently as last month "requesting that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels (MTABT) return to its prior policy of closing the Harding Avenue entrance at the Throggs Neck Bridge."

Bottom line: they want to discourage drivers from trying to bypass highway traffic by cramming onto local roads.

In a statement, the MTA said in part that "on the occasions when traffic spills onto local streets, our law enforcement personnel are immediately deployed to Harding Avenue to help move traffic through the intersection."

Councilman Mark Gjonaj said he submitted a request to the city's department of transportation to see if Harding Avenue can be turned into two lanes on the approach to Longstreet Avenue, with one reserved for right turns only. That would give those who live in Locust Point a way to access their neighborhood despite any bridge backup.

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