Street safety activist group Right of Way installed 20-mile-an-hour speed limit signs over official city signs on Prospect Park West in Park Slope Sunday night to bring attention to traffic safety as the City Council prepares to vote on speed limits today, numerous outlets reported.
Several children have been killed in recent weeks by drivers who were going the posted speed limit or who jumped the curb. The group said reducing the speed limit from 30 to 20 would significantly reduce pedestrian deaths. The city removed the signs immediately, The Daily News reported.
The Fort Greene Association and Make Brooklyn Safer are organizing a march tonight to raise awareness about pedestrian safety. The march will begin at 6:15 pm at the Dekalb and Cumberland entrance to Fort Greene Park and end at the 88th Precinct Community Council meeting. The Fort Greene community has banded together in the two weeks since nine-year-old Lucian Merryweather was killed in a car crash at Dekalb and Clermont. All the information about tonight’s event and future ones is available on Make Brooklyn Safer’s Facebook page.
A vigil for the family of the nine-year-old boy who was killed Saturday when an SUV jumped the sidewalk and hit him in Fort Greene is planned tonight at the corner of Clermont and Dekalb avenues at 7 pm. Community residents, religious leaders, and safe street advocates are invited to join. The vigil is being organized by Council Member Letitia James. “I will be working with the Department of Transportation to review the details of the incident, and specifically determine what measures can be taken to increase driver and pedestrian safety along De Kalb Avenue,” she said in a press release about the incident. The most comprehensive article on the subject is here.
The Fulton Area Business Alliance recently published the renderings for the redesigned Fowler Square, a public plaza at Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue in Fort Greene. The design team integrated the community’s suggestions from a workshop in April and displayed the renderings at Fowler Square on October 19. They plan to present the designs to Community Board Two and the Public Design Commission this month. Construction of the new plaza is scheduled to start next fall.
Click through the jump to see the rest of the renderings.
A reader wrote in with this picture to tell us that the DOT opened Van Brunt and Degraw Streets to two-way traffic in the Columbia Street waterfront neighborhood yesterday after nearly a decade of “temporary” one-way street changes. Our tipster, a longtime neighborhood resident, said the project began about 10 years ago when the city started upgrading all the utilities and roads in the Columbia Street waterfront area.
Around that time, the DOT made several blocks in the hood one-way: Degraw between Van Brunt and Columbia and Van Brunt from Degraw to Hamilton. They also changed the direction of traffic on Summit Street between Hamilton and Columbia. But as of yesterday, the preconstruction traffic patterns have been restored. And recently, the city started building the greenway along Columbia Street, which is nearly finished.
“They even installed permanent traffic lights just last year at that intersection on Columbia, only to take them down a couple of days ago and replace them with a four-way stop,” said our tipster. “This affected truck traffic too, since all trucks must go on Van Brunt.”
The notice also indicates the B61 will return to its normal route, and there will be no more parking along that section of Van Brunt and on the northern side of Degraw.
Construction on the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway will continue in the fall of 2014 with a two-way bikeway along Flushing Avenue next to the Navy Yard, Streetsblog reported. NYC DOT, the Department of Design and Construction and Parsons are designing the mile-long stretch of bike and pedestrian space, which will link the Manhattan Bridge approach, Dumbo and Farragut Houses to Williamsburg Street West, Kent Avenue and Williamsburg.
The plan is to convert the existing west side bike lane into a two-way bike path with a three-foot wide planted buffer separating cyclists from traffic and a five-foot-wide planted strip between cyclists and pedestrians. Adding the bikeway will shorten pedestrian crossing distances by 20 percent, according to Streetsblog. The west side bike path will be eight feet wide, and the DOT will preserve the painted bike lane on the east side of Flushing, which is five feet wide.
Community Board 2 unanimously approved the project earlier this month, and the Public Design Commission will review the design plan next month. Construction is slated to begin next fall.
Look after the jump to see a diagram of the plans.
Councilman David Greenfield announced today at a press conference that he had secured funding to build a new public plaza in front of the Midwood branch library at 975 East 16th Street near Avenue J. The $250,000 project, financed from the 2014 city budget, will likely feature benches, trees and various kinds of plants, according to a press release. GMAP
A roughly five- by five-block area straddling Clinton Hill and Bed Stuy, pictured above, will become a “slow zone,” meaning the speed limit will be reduced from 30 miles and hour to 20. The city will also add speed bumps.
This zone was selected because of “strong community support,” four schools, eight preschools and daycare centers, and an average of 62.4 injuries a year, including six severe or fatal ones, according to the Department of Transportation. On Thursday, the mayor announced 15 slow zones throughout the city, including in Brooklyn Heights, Brownsville, Crown Heights and Prospect Heights. The purpose of the slow zones is to reduce pedestrian fatalities from speeding cars.
“A pedestrian hit at 40 mph has a 70 percent chance of dying, while a pedestrian hit at 30 mph has an 80 percent chance of surviving,” said a story in DNAinfo.
The corner of Marcy Avenue and Madison was transported back in time this weekend for the filming of “The Knick.” The Cinemax show, directed by Steven Soderbergh, takes place in Knickerbocker hospital in 1900, according to Gothamist. Clive Owen stars. That is Boys High School below, playing the part of the hospital. And, across the street, three ordinary shopfronts and a big apartment building get the 19th century treatment. Thanks to Brownstoner commenter Amzi Hill for sending in these photos. Click through to the jump for more photos.
Lost pedestrians will finally have some help navigating Crown Heights and Prospect Heights, thanks to the DOT’s new wayfinding signs, part of a citywide WalkNYC initiative to encourage walking. The new signs arrived on Washington and Nostrand Avenues late last week, making the two neighborhoods the first in Brooklyn to receive the outdoor maps. (There are also maps in Downtown Brooklyn, part of an earlier, unrelated initiative.) The maps show pedestrian walkways, the public transportation layout, and important neighborhood destinations. The city is in the process of installing 100 maps across Midtown, Long Island City, Chinatown, Prospect Heights and Crown Heights. The maps are laser printed on glass, allowing the DOT to wipe the ink away and reprint the glass when the map changes.
Now we’ve got before and after photos of the $20 million revitalization of Fulton Street and its pedestrian plazas. As we reported last week, local politicians joined the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp. Tuesday for a ribbon-cutting, above, at Marcy Plaza to celebrate the completion of the years-long effort. All that money went toward renovating Restoration Plaza, creating “streetscape improvements,” and installing public wifi and art in public plazas.
“The scope and success of this revitalization project exemplifies our community’s commitment to showcasing our many assets so that long-term residents, newcomers and visitors can experience Bedford Stuyvesant at its best,” said Council Member Al Vann.
Click through to the jump to see before and after photos of various parts of Fulton, sent to us by BSRC.
The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp. is staging a ribbon-cutting tomorrow at Marcy Plaza to announce the official completion of the $20 million revitalization of a mile-long stretch of Fulton Street in Bed Stuy. The seven-year-long renovation of Restoration Plaza and other public plazas on Fulton has added public art and wi-fi and created “new green space, outdoor cultural and community event spaces, and expanded sidewalks with new benches and lighting to create public destinations and safer, more walkable, vibrant streets,” according to a press release. The improvements also sparked $91 million of private investment in housing and retail, creating more than 300 units of mixed-income housing in the area.
The ribbon-cutting and press conference will take place at 10 am tomorrow at Marcy Plaza at the corner of Fulton and Marcy Avenue. Various community groups, city officials, and plenty of pols will be on hand, including Council Member Al Vann. During a breakfast starting at 8:30 am, New York City Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar and Community Service Society Executive Director David Jones will discuss “how their pioneering fathers influenced their choice of careers.” GMAP