The DOT started construction last week on a pedestrian island and other safety improvements at the intersection of Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway, Kensington BK reported. The DOT has promised to repair damaged sidewalks and crosswalks and to install high-visiblity crosswalk markings, speed limit signs on Ocean Parkway and “Traffic Signal Ahead” signs along Prospect Expressway.
After the DOT conducted a study of the most accident-prone parts of Ocean Parkway, several other dangerous intersections along the six-lane road were selected for safety upgrades, including Avenue C, Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Avenue and 18th Avenue, according to Streetsblog. The work on Ocean Parkway should wrap in the spring, and the other improvements will start in 2015.
The Select Bus Service on Nostrand and Rogers Avenues between Bed Stuy and Sheepshead Bay starts November 17, according to an email from the MTA and DOT. When SBS service begins, the B44 Limited will become the B44 SBS, and the B44 local will continue service at all its current stops. For the first two weeks after SBS launches, the DOT will have Customer Ambassadors at every SBS station to explain the service and the new prepayment system. The DOT recently finished painting the bus lanes and installing the new wayfinding signs and prepayment kiosks throughout Crown Heights and Prospect Heights.
The SBS project team is holding a meeting next Thursday, November 7, at 6:30 pm to present all the planned and finished improvements, which include dedicated bus lanes, enhanced SBS stations, fare prepayment, end-to-end limited stops, signal optimization, transit signal priority, street resurfacing, pedestrian wayfinding signs, truck delivery windows, and new high-capacity, low-floor, three-door articulated buses. The meeting will take place in the Bedford Lounge on the second floor of the Brooklyn College Student Center at Campus Road and East 27th Street.
You can learn more about the SBS project here on its nyc.gov page.
The DOT is finally painting the long-promised Select Bus Service Lanes on Nostrand Avenue in Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, and Flatbush. The project is part of the Department of Design and Construction’s larger reconstruction of Nostrand between Flushing Avenue and Eastern Parkway and from Empire Boulevard to Farragut Road. Above, a stretch of Nostrand between St. Johns and Sterling. The Select Bus route, currently served by the B44, will run from the Williamsburg Bridge to Sheepshead Bay and carry an average of 41,000 weekday riders, according to the DOT.
Select Bus Service features off-bus fare collection, limited stops and special lanes to speed up the buses. After all the construction is finished, Nostrand will have the Select Bus lanes and stations, major roadway reconstruction; new pedestrian ramps, curbs, and sidewalks; the installation of a water main; as well as new traffic lights, trees, tree pits and lighting.
On the heels of a community campaign, the New York State Department of Transportation has greenlighted safety improvements for the corner of Ocean Parkway and Church Avenue, where a 73-year-old woman was struck and killed by a semi truck in June. The community voted to allocate $200,000 to safety upgrades at the intersection in last year’s Participatory Budgeting process and, led by City Council Member Brad Lander, petitioned the DOT for a pedestrian safety island and to repair damaged sidewalks and crosswalks on the six-lane road. Now the DOT has signed off on several new safety measures, which will include a pedestrian island with new signals and protective barriers, high-visiblity crosswalk markings, speed limit signs on Ocean Parkway and “Traffic Signal Ahead” signs along Prospect Expressway, according to an email blast from Lander.
Construction could start as soon as this fall at the intersection, which is considered one of the most dangerous in Brooklyn. Six pedestrians were killed on Ocean Parkway between 2009 and 2011 — more than any other road in the borough, according to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s “Most Dangerous Roads for Walking” report.
The Department of Transportation is wasting no time in implementing improvements on 4th Avenue in Park Slope now that the community board finally approved it last month. Construction will begin August 19, according to a flyer sent out by the DOT. The main point of the changes is to improve safety for drivers and pedestrians. Toward that end, left turns will be eliminated at six intersections, including 9th Street and 3rd Street. Speed humps and painted curb extensions will be added at 5th Street. Pedestrian medians at 9th Street will be widened to allow safer crossing near subway stations. South Slope News was the first to note the construction date.
Tonight around 11:30 pm, the R train will stop running between Brooklyn and Manhattan for as long as 14 months. The MTA is shutting down the Montague Tube, the underwater tunnel that connects the R train from Brooklyn to Manhattan, to repair Sandy-related damage. (The cost of repairs is a massive $309 million.) WNYC posted a helpful “survival guide” yesterday and the MTA broke down the closures as well. On weekdays, the R train will run from Whitehall Street-South Ferry in Manhattan to Forest Avenue-71st Avenue in Queens, and from Court Street in Brooklyn to Bay Ridge-95th Street. The MTA implemented a ferry service from Sunset Park into Lower Manhattan and is increasing service on the X27 bus by around 25 percent. The R train will run between the boroughs on weekends, although Court Street and Jay Street will get skipped. Yikes. What are R train riders out there planning to do?
Nice news for Sunset Park residents who make the commute into Manhattan every day: Starting Monday, August 5, the existing Rockaway Ferry Service will make a stop at 58th Street, next to the Brooklyn Army Terminal. The city is providing the expanded transit options for Brooklyn commuters who are affected by disruptions to the R train service. The ferries will depart from Beach 108th Street in the Rockaways, stop in Sunset Park, then continue to Pier 11 in lower Manhattan and 34th Street in midtown. The trip from Sunset Park to lower Manhattan should take 15 minutes. Ferries will run about once every hour and a ride will cost $2. The Economic Development Corporation plans to evaluate ridership in a few weeks and then decide whether or not to continue the service. If the temporary service is a success, local pols and residents plan to make a larger pitch for permanent service at 58th Street.
After a few months of repairs, the Carroll Street Bridge has reopened. Patch reports that the city had to repair the bridge’s steel beams, motors and electrical control console after damage from Hurricane Sandy. The bridge, built in 1889 to bring horse-drawn wagons to local farms, is one of only four retractile bridges in the country.
After local pols pushed for better G train service as well as a review of the line early this year, the notoriously bad subway will finally see improvements. The MTA just completed its review of the G train last week and issued several recommendations. According to a press release by Senator Daniel Squadron, the recommendations include increasing the G train service by 25 percent from approximately 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm, contingent on funding; Running trains at more even intervals; Stopping the 4-car train at the same place on the platform at all times and clearly marking where on the platform the train will stop; and adding public announcement systems at the 12 G train stations that currently lack them. They’ve also recommended making changes to train operations, like letting trains wait at Court Square with all the doors open longer so that passengers can spread throughout the train. The NYC Rider’s Alliance is pushing the MTA to use some of the $40 million that came through in unexpected state funding for these improvements. The MTA estimates that it would cost $700,000 annually to increase the service by 25 percent. Obviously great news for the G’s rapidly growing ridership.
Too good to be true? A reader sent along this photo with news that new trains have appeared along the C line. As he reports, “all of a sudden last week I started seeing new trains on the C line… There are still old trains periodically.” As many Brooklyn residents are well aware, the C line is consistently rated one of the worst lines in the entire city. In the spring of 2012, the MTA announced that new trains were coming for the line, but said it would take a full four years to happen. We couldn’t find any news regarding the new trains coming early, but it’d be a welcome surprise if it’s happened so soon. What did this morning’s commute look like for C-train riders?
Brooklyn R train riders will not be able to take the subway into Manhattan for at least a year while the MTA repairs the R train tunnel under the East River, the WSJ reported. The agency also plans to close the G train tunnel between Brooklyn and Queens for 12 weekends this year. Both lines need attention because of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. The G train service will be replaced by a shuttle between the two boroughs. The MTA didn’t say what R train riders should do, but transfers to the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, F, B and Q are all available from the R line in Downtown Brooklyn. In Brooklyn, the R train services parts of Gowanus, Sunset Park and Bay Ridge. There is also express bus service from Bay Ridge to Manhattan. Brooklyn-Manhattan Subway Tunnel to Close for Repairs After Sandy [WSJ] R Tube to Be Shut More Than a Year for Storm Repairs [NY Times] Photo by MTA