“Park Avenue Is Broken, And It Can Be Fixed”

Left, Council Member Letitia James and Assembly Member Joseph Lentol speak in support of MARP's Park Avenue plan. Right, an 11th grade student from Benjamin Banneker Academy measures speeding. Photos: Stephen Miller

Council Member Letitia James and Assembly Member Joseph Lentol joined local residents on Park Avenue in Brooklyn yesterday to push DOT and other city agencies to implement recommendations from the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Partnership’s pedestrian safety plan. The plan calls for a set of pedestrian safety improvements and traffic enforcement measures to make Park Avenue less of a BQE service road and more of a neighborhood street.

“Government’s most primary responsibility is to protect its citizens,” Lentol said. “We definitely need traffic calming measures.” Lentol also called for an expansion of speed cameras in the city. “Speed kills,” he said. “We’ve got to slow these cars down.”

Over a two-hour period on a recent afternoon, MARP clocked 40 percent of drivers on Park Avenue speeding, with the fastest hitting 53 mph. When a student from Benjamin Banneker Academy broke out the speed gun yesterday afternoon, the first reading came back at 38 mph. New York City’s speed limit is 30 mph.

M. Blaise Backer, executive director of MARP, called on city agencies to begin design and implementation of the report’s recommendations. “Park Avenue is broken, and it can be fixed,” he said. “We have to get DOT’s attention.”

Council Member James echoed the sentiment. “We really need to get all of the entities involved to focus on this,” she said. James and Lentol were joined by representatives of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Transportation Alternatives at the event.

Community participation in formulating the plan has been significant. If you’d like to learn more about how MARP and its partners collaborated on the report, the Center for Architecture will host a panel Friday morning featuring architects, planners and community members.

Community members read the report and sign the petition asking DOT to implement the pedestrian safety plan's recommendations. Photos: Stephen Miller