City To Unveil 86 St. Pedestrian Safety Plan

March 15, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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By Paula Katinas

Brooklyn Eagle

Bay Ridge — A dangerous stretch of 86th Street will get a makeover by the city, as transportation officials seek ways to make the street safer for pedestrians to cross.

Officials from the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) were scheduled to make a presentation to Bay Ridge residents on their proposal to reconfigure 86th Street at a special meeting of the Traffic and Transportation Committee of Community Board 10.

The meeting took place on March 14 at Fort Hamilton High School. DOT officials plan to reconfigure traffic lanes and introduce improvements to crosswalks at intersections along 86th Street.

The target area is located on 86th Street between Shore Road and Fourth Avenue, according to Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann, who said the goal is “to address a high number of pedestrian accidents at the intersection of 86th Street and Fourth Avenue.”

The corner of 86th Street and Fourth Avenue was named one of the most dangerous street corners in Bay Ridge by the Select Committee on Pedestrian Safety, a panel put together by Board 10 Chair Joanne Seminara last year to study the situation. The committee was chaired by George Fontas.

The intersection of 86th Street and Fourth Avenue sees a high volume of traffic — from both vehicles and pedestrians — according to Board 10 officials. It is the entrance to the Bay Ridge 86th Street Business Improvement District, a group of more than 250 stores, including the Century 21 Department Store at 472 86th St. Thousands of shoppers cross the intersection on their way to the stores.

The corner is also the terminus of three bus lines — the B1, S53, and S79 — and is the location of an R train subway station.

In an effort to encourage more residents to attend the informational meeting, “the district office did a significant outreach to local residents living on 86th Street and the surrounding blocks,” Beckmann said.

In other news, Beckmann told Board 10 members at the board’s monthly meeting that DOT will be repaving several streets in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, starting in April.

The streets are: 96th Street from Shore Road to Fourth Avenue; 91st Street from Shore Road to Fifth Avenue; 80th Street from Seventh Avenue to 13th Avenue; 66th Street from Fourth Avenue to Fort Hamilton Parkway; and 11th Avenue from 75th Street to 86th Street.

DOT repaves city streets approximately once every 18 months. Local community boards submit lists of streets that they believe should get first priority when the agency is planning the repaving process.

“This year, we submitted 30 locations,” Beckmann said.

Beckmann led a team of office interns during the summer in a street survey of the area to come up with Board 10’s list of streets that are badly in need of repaving.

“The Department of Transportation reviews those requests, as well as other data, in determining streets approved for repaving,” she said.

Parking will be restricted on the streets that are undergoing repaving, officials said.

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