Could a traffic circle tame cars and trucks at the chaotic intersection of Flatbush, Atlantic, and Fourth avenues in Brooklyn? A team of architects thinks so.
Earlier this week DOT held a public workshop about improving pedestrian safety in this area, where heavy traffic on wide, two-way streets meeting at irregular angles creates exceptional hazards. Motorists injured 78 people walking and biking there between 2010 and 2014, according to DOT, and have killed four pedestrians and one cyclist in the project area since 2008. Over half of pedestrian injuries occurred while the victim was crossing with the signal.
DOT’s draft plan would add pedestrian islands, curb extensions, and crosswalks, while leaving the basic geometry of the streets intact.
Perkins Eastman transportation project designer Jonathan Cohn, who lives in Park Slope, presented a different idea at the DOT workshop — a traffic circle.
It’s a rough concept that has yet to be fleshed out in detail, but one that merits strong consideration. With a traffic circle, left turns across multiple lanes of traffic would be eliminated, which should provide a major safety boost. The traffic pattern would be simpler for pedestrians to negotiate. Cohn’s concept also calls for a two-way bikeway around the edge of the circle.