Downtown Brooklyn

Electeds ask for safer streets near Times Plaza

February 16, 2016 Anna Spivak
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A dangerous Brooklyn intersection was shown some love over Valentine’s Day weekend as a rally was held to ask the Department of Transportation (DOT) to up the safety of the intersection where Atlantic Avenue meets Flatbush and Fourth Avenues.

Transportation Alternatives—an organization dedicated to making streets safer for all New Yorkers — alongside Councilmembers Brad Lander and Stephen Levin, held the rally on Saturday, February 13 at Times Plaza in front of the Barclays Center to draw attention to the problematic intersection that affects pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers alike.

“The DOT has announced plans to redesign Times Plaza and turn it into a more people-friendly public space, and that’s great news,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. “But what will happen if people can’t safely cross these busy streets to enjoy the plaza? Transportation officials need to put safety first by fixing this highly dangerous intersection as part of the plaza redesign, just as they need to make life-saving safety improvements all along the Atlantic Avenue corridor.”

Since the implementation of Vision Zero — Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to reduce the number of fatalities related to dangerous behavior on city roads, statistics show a significant decrease in the number of traffic incidents—the mayor’s office even reporting that 2015 was the “safest year ever” on New York City streets with traffic fatalities down 22 percent since 2013, before Vision Zero launched.

Additionally, according to the mayor’s office, at locations where the DOT has made major engineering changes since 2005, fatalities have decreased by 34 percent. Elected officials are now requesting that these changes come to Times Plaza.

“Last July, following a car crash that tragically claimed the life of cyclist Alejandro Moran-Marin, I rode my bike through the intersection of Atlantic, Flatbush and Fourth Avenues. What we discovered on that ride is how dangerous this stretch of road is for Brooklynites,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “The city, which has been a great leader on Vision Zero, needs to fast-track the redesign of this treacherous corridor. I am calling on the Department of Transportation to publicize their timeline for safety improvements and to engage residents, advocates and elected officials in this critical project.”

“The intersection of Flatbush, Atlantic and Fourth Avenues is a nightmare for pedestrians and cyclists,” added Lander. “Brooklynites are taking their lives in their hands just to get across the street – with nearly 100 crashes over a six-month period last year alone. We want a great pedestrian plaza here, but we have to start with a safe intersection.”

Levin shared the same opinion, making the point that “New Yorkers shouldn’t have to fear for their lives every time they cross the street.

“This intersection has long been a hazard,” he continued. “The Times Plaza redesign is an opportunity to reassess the area and make serious safety improvements.”

Times Plaza encompasses the intersection of Flatbush Avenue, Fourth Avenue and Atlantic Avenue and, in addition to Barclays Center, houses the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, the Atlantic Terminal shopping mall, and the Atlantic Terminal of the Long Island Rail Road and the Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center subway station.

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps

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