Signs of Progress for Downtown Brooklyn Safety Fixes

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After a wait that lasted years longer than expected, construction crews are breaking ground on a slate of pedestrian safety improvements for Downtown Brooklyn's traffic-plagued streets.

Reader Todd Seidel sent in this photo of a sidewalk extension in mid-construction on Third Avenue and 11th Street, and DOT confirms that Phase I of the long-sought Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project is now underway. When complete, the project will extend sidewalks at dozens of intersections, narrowing crossing distances for pedestrians and sending visual cues for drivers to slow down.

Following the deaths of two young children on Third Avenue in 2004, then-DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall originally promised to build $4 million in pedestrian safety improvements for Downtown Brooklyn by 2006. A year after that deadline had come and gone, four-year-old James Rice was run over and killed by an SUV, prompting another pledge from DOT to accelerate the project. While the city's budget process again slowed implementation, signs of progress are at last apparent.

We have a request for more details in to the Department of Design and Construction, the city agency that builds DOT's capital projects. You can see a list of intersections targeted for sidewalk extensions in this PDF from DOT's website. Follow the jump for another picture from Todd.

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