DOT planning safety improvements for Meeker Avenue

December 17, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Assemblymember Joseph Lentol says the safety improvements the DOT is planning for Meeker Avenue will save lives. Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Lentol’s office
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The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) is planning a number of safety features for Meeker Avenue in Williamsburg, according to Assemblymember Joseph R. Lentol (D-North Brooklyn), who said the current configuration of the busy thoroughfare is “a recipe for disaster.”

DOT will install shorter crosswalks, wider sidewalks, improved signal timing and clear lane designations, Lentol said.

The safety improvement plan was created by DOT’s Pedestrian Projects Group after a site inspection of Meeker Avenue and Skillman Avenue. DOT is scheduled to present the safety plan to Community Board 1 at a meeting tentatively scheduled for Jan. 12.

“Along with McGuinness Boulevard, Meeker Avenue is one of the most dangerous streets in my district,” Lentol said in a statement. “It has unsafe sightlines, a limited number of crosswalks, and several unusual intersections, which really make it a recipe for disaster. I look forward to DOT’s proposals to improve pedestrian, motorist and cyclist safety on this roadway.”

In a May 8 letter to DOT officials, Lentol requested an investigation of hazardous conditions on Meeker Avenue and asked the agency to install a pedestrian crossing on Meeker Avenue and Skillman Avenue.

“I have received countless complaints from constituents over the years about the unsafe nature of Meeker Avenue,” Lentol said. “Many people treat it like the BQE [Brooklyn-Queens Expressway], which is right above. I have witnessed people going at least 50 miles per hour up and down Meeker Avenue. It is time we see safety improvements along this roadway to slower drivers down, and ultimately, save lives.”

Transportation Alternatives also has its eye on Meeker Avenue. The organization started a “Make Meeker Move” petition drive online to call on the DOT to install dedicated bike lanes and pedestrian safety enhancements.

The petition can be found on the website of Transportation Alternatives at www.transalt.org.

“As the neighborhoods on either side of Meeker Avenue boom with residential and commercial activity, foot and bicycle traffic along the street has increased dramatically. But the corridor remains an unsafe place for everyone who uses it. We call on the Department of Transportation to study the feasibility of installing protected bike lanes and pedestrian safety improvements. Protected bike lanes will ensure that cyclists can move safely along on of North Brooklyn’s main corridors. Pedestrian safety improvements will boost local business by fostering access to the many shops and restaurants dotting Meeker Avenue,” a statement on the Transportation Alternatives’ website reads.

At last count, the “Make Meeker Move” petition had more than 1,800 signatures.


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