Residents and Pols Push for a Better Park Avenue

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Yesterday afternoon the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project held a site tour of safety proposals for Park Avenue between Navy and Steuben streets. MARP released a proposal for safety measures (after lots of community feedback) and submitted the plans to the Department of Transportation yesterday. Students from nearby Banneker Academy, Council Member Tish James, Assemblyman Joe Lentol, representatives from the Ingersoll Houses, Walt Whitman houses, Transportation Alternatives, and local residents gathered for a site tour. The tour highlighted the avenue’s major safety concerns: massive potholes, no street striping, and poor sanitation to name a few. “It’s an eyesore, it’s underutilized, and it’s being used inefficiently,” said James. “We need to think outside of the box and focus on how to trasform Park from a dumping group to something productive for this community.” Click through for some photos of our 17-block trip under the BQE, as well as all the details about MARP’s extensive proposal. MARP also started a petition to push for the much-needed improvements.


Residents, MARP’s Executive Director Blaise Backer, Council Member James, and Assemblyman Joe Lentol.

 

MARP’s Deputy Director Meredith Phillips Almeida, with a speedometer on loan from Transportation Alternatives. 40 percent of cars drive over the speed limit on this stretch during afternoon hours. The rate of car crashes is in the 76th percentile. MARP is proposing that DOT study the traffic timing to reduce the maximum sustained speed.

 

Here are just a few examples of the street condition. The plan requests that the city prioritize repaving under the BQE.

 

The BQE infrastructure was repaired and painted around two or three years ago. As you can see, it’s already showing signs of wear. The infrastructure also leaks into the parking lot and onto the street. MARP has requested the DOT make necessary repairs.

 

Many of the intersections have no street striping or stop signs whatsoever. (There also is no street striping inside the parking lot, leading to underutilized parking space.) MARP proposes appropriate striping, speed limit signs, school crossing signs, speed monitors and stop signs.

 

The woman below is in the designated pedestrian passageway. One idea is to close off certain parking area entrances and exits (only one side of each intersection) to eliminate the awkward crossing and provide a safer route under the BQE.

 

There are lots of spots where illegal dumping occurs. MARP is asking the Department of Sanitation to regulate it.

 

The street sweepers cannot clean the corners of the parking lot so trash piles up. MARP proposes a more natural curve to the street for easier cleanup.

 

A bus bulb is proposed for the westbound bus stop at North Portland, which sees a lot of pedestrian traffic.

 

There are no curb cuts for the pedestrian islands. MARP proposes curb cuts, neckdowns, and raised crosswalks at the entrances of the parking lot.

 

The Crossover is where the BQE turns from South Williamsburg into Clinton Hill and runs parallel over Park Avenue. Currently the lane has highway-like curves without controls. The eastbound lane of Park also crosses Grand Avenue at an awkward angle, and the homes on that corner have been hit several times. MARP has a number of possible solutions. One is to eliminate the Crossover entirely and configure Grand as a street that continues under the BQE. This opens up a large area under the BQE (near the mural) which could be used for programming or parking. James has been pushing for a dog park here.

 

Here’s an awkward pedestrian crossing from the Crossover.

 

 

Many of these proposals can be done quickly with city resources and require no capital funding. MARP hopes the DOT will prioritize this project so residents see changes ASAP. Read the proposal for more details on what to do on superblocks, proposals for green infrastructure, how to handle the intersection at Navy and Park, and specifics on all the issues previously mentioned.

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