COLES STREET, Carroll Gardens

by Kevin Walsh

As a rule, I am a passing observer on the daily scene. I don’t discuss politics either here or on social media, as my opinions will infuriate everyone, and today, there is no reasoned discussion, just All Out War. But there are some things that will stir me into action. Take Coles Street, which exists in two pieces, one a dead end piece on Henry Street and 4th Place in Carroll Gardens, and the other, a one block stretch between Columbia Street and Hamilton Avenue in Red Hook. This is the spot where the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel Approach make a V, and the bulk of Coles Street was eliminated in the 1950s when the expressway was bruited through.

The Bible of Brooklyn streets, Benardo and Weiss’ Brooklyn By Name, says that Coles Street was named for Jordan Coles, a long-ago schools commissioner who owned several tide mills in the area. In July 2021, I was limping down Henry Street wrapping up a day of shooting in the heat and humidity, when I noticed that the new street sign had lopped off the “s” in Coles, making it Cole. So the street had already suffered the indignity of being nearly expresswayed out of existence, now the Department of Transportation had misspelled it on a new street sign.

The DOT has a way to report problems with signs, and Action Lad here sprung into duty, reporting it on the website. A few days went by and I actually heard from the DOT, telling me they had repaired the signs. However, I haven’t had the opportunity to return here and verify this. Carroll Gardeners, I’m asking you: has the DOT fixed the sign with the correct spelling?

As always, Comments are open.



John November 26, 2021 - 12:45 am

“The expressway was bruited through”?! I don’t that’s a proper use of the verb. Maybe you meant “built”?

Kevin Walsh November 26, 2021 - 11:01 am

I have a lot of nitpickers today.

Technically the word means to “circulate” and by expansion, “force.”

therealguyfaux December 1, 2021 - 7:05 pm

Well, it WAS brute force…

Sunnysider November 26, 2021 - 10:11 am

Maybe some semi-literate enviroweenie at the DOT thought the street referred to the dreaded fossil fuel and decided to do his or her part in trying to reduce it.

chris November 27, 2021 - 11:23 pm

I heard that “Dead End” signs are now considered too morbid and from now on will
read “No Outlet”

Hart Sastrowardoyo December 2, 2021 - 4:36 pm

I haven’t heard any official explanation for this, but in driving around, there’s a difference between the two, IMHO. “Dead end” streets have no streets off of them. “No outlet” streets have streets off of them, but they’re either dead end, or they loop back onto that street. It’s not always consistent, and I’ve seen dead end placed where there should be a no outlet sign, but FWIW, that’s my distinction.

DanG November 28, 2021 - 2:10 pm

Drove by yesterday, Nov 27, sign has NOT been corrected.


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