The Department of Transportation released its Vision Zero plan to improve pedestrian safety across Brooklyn today. The plan calls for safety improvements at 50 high-traffic corridors and 91 intersections throughout the borough. New safety measures include increasing pedestrian crossing times, installing more speed-limit signs, creating more neighborhood slow zones, and changing traffic signals to reduce speeding during off-peak hours.
The DOT also plans to install 60 new speed bumps annually throughout Brooklyn and add more lighting underneath elevated train tracks. And there will be more speed cameras and enforcement at busy intersections. Apparently Brooklyn averages 46 pedestrian deaths each year — the highest of any borough. Read the summary or the full report over on the DOT’s Vision Zero page.
Last week, the DOT unveiled a lengthy list of street changes to improve pedestrian safety in Kensington, including slow zones, one-way streets, improved signage, speed bumps and high-visibility crosswalks. Local parents and politicians were particularly concerned about safety at the soon-to-open P.S./I.S. 437 campus at Caton Avenue and East 7th Street (the corner shown above), where a hit-and-run driver struck and killed a 14-year-old boy in November.
Ditmas Park Corner and DNAinfo both wrote about the packed meeting last week at P.S. 130, which was attended by Councilman Brad Lander, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Councilman Jumaane Williams, among others. By the end of the summer, the DOT is expected to implement curb extensions at East 7th and East 8th streets on Caton Avenue, convert East 7th and East 8th streets to one-way streets, and reduce speed on Caton Avenue, according to Ditmas Park Corner. You can also see the full DOT presentation here [PDF].
Construction on the Pulaski Bridge bike lanes has been pushed back once again. Streetsblog reported that the protected bike lanes, originally scheduled to finish this year, likely won’t open until the end of 2015. Last week, we reported construction would wrap in the spring.
Then the DOT gave a presentation [PDF] on the project and said the contractor will start work in April and continue through October or November. Pedestrians and bikers currently share the crowded walking paths, but the DOT plans to convert one lane of Brooklyn-bound traffic to a two-way bike lane.
Officials blamed the delays on the engineering of the 60-year-old drawbridge, which can’t support an additional concrete barrier, and the fact that funding for the bike lanes is tied to work on 10 other bridge projects that needed approval first. The cost of the improvements has also increased from $3,460,000 to $4,200,000.
At least the DOT has finalized a design, which will include textured rumble strips at both entrances to the bridge reminding cyclists to slow down.
Pulaski Bridge Bike Path Now Scheduled to Open by End of 2015 [Streetsblog]
Pulaski Bridge Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering via DOT
On Tuesday night, Community Board 2’s transportation committee unanimously approved the DOT’s plan to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists on Park Avenue between Navy and Steuben streets. Park has long been one of the borough’s most dangerous streets. It’s situated directly underneath the BQE and includes several parking areas in the middle of the road. Drivers often pull out of these parking areas into fast-moving traffic where nearly three quarters of drivers are speeding. The mile-long corridor has 13.6 fatalities or series injuries per mile, and a third of all crashes happen at a right angle, usually involving a driver running a red light, according to DOT data.
The DOT adapted much of its plan from one released by the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project and Architecture for Humanity in 2012. Safety improvements include painting parking lanes and a buffer on the eastbound side of the street, another parking lane on the westbound side, and painting a buffer on the westbound side to narrow it down to two lanes (from three) at Williamsburg Place. Pedestrians will also have more time to cross the street and gain some protection from barriers installed on one side of the parking areas. The city hopes to implement the new safety measures in September. You can see the full presentation here.
Image via DOT
Street safety advocates will have a chance to make their voices heard at two upcoming Vision Zero workshops in Brooklyn Heights and Flatbush. Anyone can attend and suggest street safety improvements, bike lanes, or slow zones in neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn. NYPD and DOT staff will split attendees into small discussion groups and use maps to help pinpoint the borough’s most problematic streets.
The first meeting is happening from 6:30 to 8:30 pm tonight at Plymouth Church, located at 75 Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights. And next Tuesday, April 29, there will be a second workshop from 6:30 to 8:30 pm on the second floor of the Brooklyn College Student Center at Campus Road and East 27th Street. There’s more info about the workshops on the Vision Zero page.
Greenpoint City Council member Steve Levin penned a letter yesterday to incoming Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg demanding “traffic calming” measures on McGuinness Boulevard, where a woman was killed while walking last week. He suggested installing speed cameras around P.S. 34, following a state law passed last year allowing up to 20 speed cameras in a school zone.
A school zone stretches across nearly a mile of McGuinness from Greenpoint Avenue to the BQE, qualifying it for cameras, Streetsblog points out. Nearly two-thirds of all drivers exceed the road’s speed limit of 30 miles per hour, hurtling at speeds as high as 47 miles per hour, according to a study by the McGuinness Boulevard Working Group.
Levin also wants to create a neighborhood slow zone around P.S. 34, install left-hand turn signals, countdown clocks at cross walks and other traffic calming measures to prevent future crashes. His letter comes in the wake of 32-year-old Nicole Detweiler’s death, who was struck and killed December 29 by a BMW and a box truck.
Image via Google Maps