DOT Makes Room for Pedestrians on Flatbush Avenue

A conceptual before-and-after sketch of how the new neckdowns on Flatbush Avenue side streets will look. Image via North Flatbush BID

Ahead of a 2014 capital project that will shorten crossing distances for pedestrians on the stretch of Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza and Atlantic Avenue, DOT this week is installing temporary sidewalk extensions on side streets at five intersections.

Crews will be painting extensions on Bergen Street, St. Marks Avenue, Prospect Place, Sterling Place and St. Johns Place where those streets intersect with Flatbush, according to a DOT flier. The pedestrian areas don’t extend into the roadbed of Flatbush itself but should calm traffic turning onto the cross streets. The intersection of Carlton Avenue and Park Place will also see an expansion of pedestrian space. In addition to paint, plastic bollards will be installed to delineate the new pedestrian areas.

“Working with the North Flatbush BID, Community Boards, and elected officials, DOT has over the past several years fully repaved the roadway, added pedestrian countdown signals, limited turns for safety, and retimed the signal progression during off-peak hours,” said Craig Hammerman, district manager of Community Board 6, in an email announcement. The temporary spaces “will set a footprint” for the 2014 improvements, which will include permanent sidewalk extensions and the reconstruction of four triangular parks, Hammerman said.

Efforts to make this stretch of Flatbush Avenue safer have been in the works for several years. More than 200 pedestrians and cyclists were injured, and two cyclists were killed, on Flatbush between Atlantic Avenue and Eighth Avenue from 1995 to 2009, according to Transportation Alternatives’ CrashStat.