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May 25, 2016
BOROUGH PRESIDENT CALLS FOR FEASIBILITY STUDY OF CYCLING-FRIENDLY MEASURES ON FLATBUSH AVENUE BETWEEN GRAND ARMY PLAZA AND EMPIRE BOULEVARD, MIRRORING SUCCESSFUL EFFORTS TAKEN ALONG PROSPECT PARK WEST CORRIDOR
BROOKLYN, NY, May 25, 2016: Today, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams advocated for the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) to perform a study analyzing the feasibility of improved traffic-calming infrastructure on Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza and Empire Boulevard, part of a greater effort to advance street safety around the full perimeter of Prospect Park as well as to improve the quality of life along its eastern border. In a Friday, April 22nd letter to DOT Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Keith Bray, he wrote about the numerous residents and stakeholders who have reached out to him to address issues on that stretch of roadway, which “serves as a speedway for motor vehicles in an area where there are numerous pedestrians and cultural institutions;” the agency’s reply has indicated their willingness to review the request. Borough President Adams spoke about the need to replicate the positive impact of similar efforts taken along the Prospect Park West corridor in order to protect bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians traveling around Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, and Prospect Lefferts-Gardens.
“We need to take a common-sense approach to studying how our streets can be properly supportive and safe for all who use them, especially in our higher-trafficked areas like Prospect Park,” said Borough President Adams. “I believe Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza and Empire Boulevard is a sensible stretch for exploring and implementing traffic-calming infrastructure, and I look forward to working with DOT leadership and community members on this effort.”
Borough President Adams has been an outspoken supporter of Vision Zero, a commitment by the City to entirely eliminate traffic fatalities, which was developed in collaboration with Transportation Alternatives, a non-profit advocacy organization that supports bicyclists and pedestrians. To address open space accessibility and general quality of life matters on the east side of Prospect Park, Borough President Adams allocated $500,000 to the Prospect Park Alliance in both Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) and Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) to restore the fence and sidewalks on the park side of Flatbush Avenue, as well as to create new entrances to Prospect Park from Flatbush Avenue. In addition, he has used his capital budget to establish CROSS (Connecting Residents on Safer Streets) Brooklyn, his initiative to invest in sidewalk extensions at dangerous intersections across Brooklyn near significant concentrations of senior citizens.
“This is a stretch of roadway that’s crying out for traffic-calming — a woman was struck and killed by a driver there less than two years ago,” said Eric McClure, executive director of StreetsPAC. “It so happens that we took speed readings there just this past Friday evening, during rush hour, and found that drivers were averaging 38.8 miles per hour, more than 50 percent above the legal New York City speed limit, with a top speed of an expressway-like 66 MPH.”
“We commend Borough President Adams for his leadership in advocating common-sense safety improvements along this important corridor,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. “With more and more people biking in this area of Brooklyn and around the five boroughs, and in the era of Vision Zero, it is imperative that the City move quickly to protect everyone who uses dangerous streets like Flatbush Avenue.”
“Flatbush Avenue bisects all of Brooklyn, running from the Manhattan Bridge to the Rockaways in Queens,” said Paco Abraham, a community advocate in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. “However, far too many stretches of this corridor are plagued by speeding vehicles and poorly designed roadways. No such dangers should exist in our pedestrian city, especially beside the borough’s crown jewels of Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Local residents have long called for infrastructure upgrades to Flatbush Avenue and I applaud Borough President Adams for now making it a top priority. We all look forward to the DOT’s creativity in transforming the Flatbush Avenue raceway into a safer street for all road users.”
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