Requiem for Three Pedestrian Islands in Boro Park

For the historical record, here’s three minutes of rather dull video capturing the pedestrian refuges on Fort Hamilton Parkway and 46th Street in Brooklyn. When the camera pans right you can also see the intersection at 47th Street, where there’s another refuge. I took the footage at the tail end of the p.m. rush this Wednesday, a few minutes before 6:30.

This is the Safe Streets for Seniors project that had local Assembly Member Dov Hikind up in arms for months, contending that the refuges impeded emergency response and interfered with deliveries to local businesses. While nearby Maimonides Medical Center and the FDNY said the islands posed no problem, the Hatzolah volunteer ambulance corps apparently felt differently and petitioned the local community board to have them taken out. Now DOT is going to remove these three refuges and add 24 blocks of striped center median, from 37th Street to 61st Street, to help compensate for the loss. A median island between 45th Street and New Utrecht Avenue will get shaved down but remain in place.

So, watch and see what all the fuss is about. In the snippet of time I got on video, the only person with any reason to complain is the cyclist who got a rude honking from a passing van driver at about the two-minute mark. Below is more footage from the intersection at 45th Street and the median island that’s slated for shaving.

Though they don’t appear in these videos, there were also a few grown men with payos cycling on Fort Hamilton while I was down in Boro Park. No generalizing about Hasidim in the comments, please.