Elected officials, community leaders urge DOT to improve pedestrian safety on Atlantic Avenue
Elected officials and community leaders are calling on the city's Department of Transportation to improve safety along Atlantic Avenue from Brooklyn Heights to Boerum Hill.
From east to west, Atlantic Avenue covers the entire Brooklyn borough, but this specific stretch from Fourth Avenue to Furman Street has many residents concerned.
“You're trying to cross the 130-, 140-feet of that avenue, which is very wide, with no place to stand in the middle, you're basically taking your life in your hands,” says state Sen. Andrew Gounardes.
Eight local officials signed their name on a two-page letter to the Department of Transportation, including Gounardes and Lara Birnback, the executive director of Brooklyn Heights Association. The letter asks for immediate safety measures to the 1.5-mile corridor of Atlantic Avenue.
“I have a 13-year-old daughter who's roaming around the neighborhood by herself. On the one hand, I'm happy for that independence, but also terrified when I know she's crossing Atlantic,” Birnback says. “We've seen four deaths in the last 10 years…hundreds and hundreds of injuries and crashes."
One of the latest pedestrian accidents happened right by the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Clinton Street, where police say the victim was hit by a driver who ignored a red stop light.
The community is asking for four things they feel will slow down traffic patterns: installing mid-block traffic lights, redesigning pedestrian crossings by raising them, extending curbs and redesigning the crosswalk and pedestrian spaces near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
The cost of the project is not known.
“I would argue that there is no price too high to pay to keep people safe,” Gounardes says.
The Department of Transportation told News 12 it is reviewing the letter.
The department has a planned mid-block crossing study for the area this summer.