Meeting’s goal: A safer Jay Street

Busy street had more than 80 traffic Injuries

March 11, 2014 By Minda Smiley For Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Traffic safety advocates have called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to target busy Jay Street as part of his ambitious “Vision Zero” plan to eliminate traffic-related deaths in the city.

So, on Monday night, dozens of Downtown Brooklyn and DUMBO residents flocked to a community planning meeting –  – dubbed “Reimagine Jay Street”  – to demand safety measures. These measures ranged from a protected cycling lane to better enforcement of existing regulations to off-street police parking.

Advocates from Transportation Alternatives, which organized the session, cited more than 80 traffic-related injuries in recent years along Jay Street, where buses, police cars, cyclists and pedestrians compete for scarce space.

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In its relatively short stretch through Downtown Brooklyn, Jay Street passes by the court system, MetroTech Center, NYU Polytechnic Engineering School, the Cathedral Basilica of St. James, the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge and the old Transit Authority building.

“Clearly, the street just isn’t working for people who use it every day,” Miller Nuttle of Transportation Alternatives said during the meeting, which was held at MetroTech.

Meeting participants broke out into workshop groups to outline short-term and long-term goals for Jay Street. They also mapped out spots of the thoroughfare in most need of safety fixes.

Monday’s gathering was held in the wake of de Blasio’s unveiling of “Vision Zero,” which includes more than 60 measures aimed at ending traffic-related deaths on city streets. Advocates plan to compile a report based on suggestions compiled at the meeting, in hopes of getting the city Department of Transportation to target Jay Street as part of the “Vision Zero” effort.

City Councilman Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn Heights) told the crowd that traffic patterns along Jay Street are outdated. “It’s not using a lot of the best practices and principles that have been implemented in the rest of the city,” he said.

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