Editorial: Danger in the nabe

September 25, 2013 Editorial Staff
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Another week, another accident.

Just days after an elderly man lost his life at the intersection of Bay Ridge Parkway and 13th Avenue — when a collision between a pickup truck and a car sent the pickup careening into the bus shelter where he was sitting — a motorcyclist collided with an SUV which had just made an illegal U-turn on Third Avenue near Ovington Avenue, and is now fighting for his life at Lutheran Medical Center.

The scenarios of the two accidents are different, but both represent what has become a major problem in southwestern Brooklyn, where many people, young and old, hesitate to step off the curb for fear of being run over.

On Fourth Avenue alone, there have been several serious accidents – including two fatalities — just this year.

The most recent was on September 11, when a teen was struck by a vehicle that kept on going. Fortunately, he is on the road to recovery, but his family is understandably shaken up by the turn of events – the more so because another hit and run, 18 years ago, at Fort Hamilton Parkway and 92nd Street, claimed the life of the youngster’s grandmother and then-toddler aunt.

Dangerous traffic conditions are clearly nothing new in the area, but longtime residents are among those who say that the problem has gotten worse, with drivers increasingly reckless, especially on wide thoroughfares like Fourth Avenue.

Speeding is an issue, as are U-turns, and driving through stop signs and red lights, as well as failure by turning vehicles to yield to pedestrians even when they are crossing in a crosswalk with the light.

Several fixes have been proposed, and we urge the city to move ahead on re-engineering the neighborhood’s most dangerous strips to slow down traffic and discourage illegal maneuvers. An increase in enforcement is also called for, so that drivers know that dangerous behavior on the roadway will no longer be tolerated.

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