City installs new traffic lights on Kent Avenue

Lentol says pedestrians should be safer

September 25, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Assemblymember Joseph Lentol says the new traffic lights will help improve safety for pedestrians crossing Kent Avenue to get to two parks.
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Pedestrians crossing Kent Avenue in Williamsburg to get to either East River State Park or Bushwick Inlet Park — both of which are located adjacent to the avenue — will have an easier time from now on, thanks to the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), which is installing new traffic lights in the area to increase safety for those crossing the heavily trafficked street.

Assemblymember Joseph R. Lentol (D-North Brooklyn) said the traffic lights are located at Kent Avenue and North 8th Street and at Kent Avenue and North 9th Street. The light on Kent Avenue and North 8th Street has been fully installed. The light at Kent Avenue and North 9th Street has been partially installed and is slated to be completed by the end of the week, Lentol said.

“Public safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists is an ongoing issue in the neighborhoods of North Brooklyn. The population here keeps growing and the roadways need to be reactive to these changes. I can rest a little easier knowing visitors to these two great waterfront parks will be a bit safer now,” Lentol said.

Kent Avenue is a dangerous thoroughfare that is bordered by two parks frequented by thousands every week, according to Lentol, who worked with Councilmember Stephen Levin (D-DUMBO-Greenpoint- Williamsburg) and other officials to urge DOT to take action.

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The entrances of these two parks — East River State Park and Bushwick Inlet Park — are adjacent to North 8th Street and North 9th Street, respectively. Visitors to the parks are currently forced to maneuver both motorists and cyclists on Kent Avenue to enter and exit these parks, creating a very dangerous situation, Lentol said.

After the death of a child near Prospect Park last year, the F.C. Select soccer club, which runs a youth soccer league at Bushwick Inlet Park, became involved in the fight for traffic lights. They organized a petition requesting traffic control devices in the immediate area of the park. The petition was signed by nearly 600 parents and local residents. The Greenpoint Williamsburg Youth Soccer League was also instrumental in the advocacy for these traffic lights, according to Lentol.

The DOT completed its investigation in the spring. Brooklynbrief.com reported that the agency approved the plans for the traffic lights in May.

“I am happy to see these traffic lights finally in place. We have been advocating for these lights for quite a while. I would like to thank Councilmember Steve Levin, F.C. Select soccer club, Greenpoint Williamsburg Youth Soccer League and Community Board 1 member Karen Nieves for their relentless support in bringing these traffic lights to fruition,” Lentol said.

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