DOT approves resident-led safety plan at Ocean Parkway and Church Avenue

August 28, 2013 Heather Chin
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After months of rallies, petitions and planning meetings, the pedestrian safety plan for the Ocean Parkway and Church Avenue intersection has finally gotten approval from the state Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and among the safety changes to come are a new pedestrian island, pedestrian signals, and protective barriers.

Also included will be:

  • high visibility crosswalk markings
  • “Traffic Signal Ahead” signs along the Prospect Expressway
  • speed limit signs on Ocean Parkway

An installation date has not been set in stone, but is estimated to begin this Fall 2013. Funding will come in the form of $200,000 of participatory budgeting funds from Councilmember Brad Lander’s budget, which residents of the 39th Council District voted on in 2012.

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Speedy installation is the only speed that local residents and politicians want from now on at the dangerous intersection, which is where 73-year-old Patricia Ngozi Agbim was fatally hit by a semi-truck this past June.

“This project was a priority for our community and we came out to vote so that it would get funding,” said resident Julie Bero. “I am so happy knowing that it is now moving forward.”

Resident Ryan Lynch, who also serves as associate director of Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a non-profit transportation policy watchdog organization,” expressed relief that “the [NYSDOT] has finally heard what local residents have been saying for over a year: their neighborhood is not a highway. We look forward to quick implementation of this life-saving infrastructure project, and for the Department to apply similar pedestrian safety treatments at other dangerous locations in New York City and throughout the state.”

According to nonprofit advocacy group Transportation Alternatives’ CrashStat, there were 36 pedestrian and cyclist injuries and four fatalities there between 1995 and 2008.

And according to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s “Most Dangerous Roads for Walking” report, six pedestrians were killed on Ocean Parkway between 2009 and 2011 – more than on any other road in Brooklyn.

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