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The Department of Transportation wants to make the three-way intersection of Atlantic, Washington and Underhill Avenues less dangerous for pedestrians with some safety improvements. DNAinfo reported on the agency’s presentation to Community Boards 2 and 8, both of which must approve the proposal for changes to be made.

The intersection is on the border of Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights. The plan calls for:

*Shortening crosswalks by building larger median islands.

*Building a new crosswalk between Lowry Triangle, which sits between Washington and Underhill avenues, and the north side of Atlantic Avenue. There will also be a new crosswalk between the east side of Washington and the small triangle in the middle of the street.

*Increasing the length of crossing signals and delaying traffic lights to give pedestrians more time to cross.

*Restricting left turns from Washington Avenue to Atlantic Avenue and from Atlantic Avenue to Underhill Avenue.

Do you think these ideas will work?

Pedestrian Safety Measures Proposed for Dangerous Atlantic Avenue Crossing [DNA]
Image via DOT

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Describing it as “vandalism,” “a blight,” and “a crime,” civic and political leaders from the Richmond Hill/Woodhaven area helped launch an anti-graffiti initiative with a press conference (below) and demonstration (above) on Wednesday. City Council Member Eric A. Ulrich, who represents these neighborhoods, announced that he had allotted $25,000 to eliminate graffiti at six major corridors — Woodhaven Boulevard; Jamaica Avenue; Atlantic Avenue; 101st Avenue; Liberty Avenue; and Rockaway Boulevard. The borough’s only Republican council member directed the funds to the Queens Economic Development Corporation‘s Neighborhood Development Division, which promotes economic growth by supporting community businesses. QEDC will sub-contract with Ridgewood-based Magic Touch Cleaning to carry out the initiative.

Saying this was a priority for him, Council Member Ulrich stated that he planned to seek more funding for this program in the future. QEDC Deputy Director Ricardi Calixte opined that graffiti is bad for business. He stated, “This type of vandalism has a domino effect, discouraging shoppers, encouraging lawlessness, and deterring investment.”

See a photo from the press conference after the jump.

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A La Quinta Inn is coming to 1229 Atlantic Avenue near Nostrand, where excavation and foundation work recently began at the large, now vacant lot on the Crown Heights/Bed Stuy border. We found this schematic on the fence after leaving the post office next door. The hotel will rise seven stories with 102 rooms, according to new building permits approved in February.

The 34,902-square-foot building will also feature four off-street parking spaces, a recreation room, lounge, meeting and conference rooms. Hotel plans have been in the works since May 2012, when an LLC snagged the 8,440-square-foot property for $1,600,000 and filed initial new building applications. Askon Architects P.C. is designing the building. The La Quinta will join a few other hotels nearby on Atlantic, including a Best Western on the other side of Nostrand, the Hotel Luxe and the Atlantic Motor Inn.

See what’s behind the fence after the jump. GMAP

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Drug treatment and psychotherapy center New Directions lost its lease and plans to relocate to 500 Atlantic Avenue in March. The substance abuse treatment program has been headquartered at 202-206 Flatbush Ave between Bergen and Dean since 1983.

More than a dozen neighbors came out at last night’s community board meeting to voice their opposition to the move. Community Board 2 supported the relocation plan, noting that many people in the community benefit from drug treatment services.

Neighboring property and business owners at the meeting said that they didn’t want another health service on this stretch of Atlantic, where there are already medical and dental offices, a hip center and transitional housing for the homeless. Business owners, as well as the Atlantic Avenue BID, said the block needs retailers or restaurants that would draw more foot traffic to the area.

“We’ve seen crime go up… I hear people screaming down the street, and I think it affects my business,” said Karen Zebulon, the owner of a craft shop, Gumbo Brooklyn, across the street. “I think I would do better on a different block. We need more retail on the block.”

Several neighbors said they are worried recovering addicts and alcoholics will bring safety issues and crime to the area. However, New Directions Executive Director Mark Solomon said the program had never needed to call the police or been cited by the state. And he emphasized that the center offers psychiatric services, group therapy, art therapy and criminal justice services, but it isn’t a detox or methadone program.

“There’s really been no negative impact [on our current neighborhood],” said Solomon. GMAP

Image by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

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A building is on fire on Atlantic Avenue between Court Street and Clinton Streets, according to a tipster who sent in these photos. It looks like the blaze is coming from 172 or 174 Atlantic, a few doors down from the old sail makers’ building that houses an Urban Outfitters on the ground floor. The fire department is at the scene and battling the flames right now. Please let us know in the comments if you know more. Click through to the jump for another photo.

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Construction recently began for a new mixed-use building at 440 Atlantic Avenue between Nevins and Bond Streets in Boerum Hill. The six-story building will have ground floor retail and eight condos above, according to developer and architect Alex Barrett of Barrett Design and Development. A peek through the construction fence reveals that the row houses that once stood on the lot have been demolished and excavation and foundations are under way.

New building applications show the project is zoned for 11,539 square feet of residential space and 3,588 square feet of commercial space. Floors two through four will have two two-bedroom units per floor, half of which will have private balconies, Barrett told us. And floors five and six will have floor-through penthouses with three bedrooms each, private roof terraces, and four exposures. Amenities will include a common roof terrace, bike storage, and separate storage units available for purchase with the condos. Barrett expects to finish construction by fall 2014.

Demo and New Build on Atlantic Avenue [Brownstoner] GMAP
Photo by Barrett Design and Development