Transportation

Ocean Parkway & Church Avenue Named One Of 20 Worst Intersections For Pedestrians; Enforcement Recommended For 2014 Or 2015

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dpc_oceanparkway_churchnew report from the New York City Department of Transportation lists the crossing of Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway as one of the 20 worst intersections for pedestrians throughout the five boroughs. The crossing tied for third place along with two other intersections in Brooklyn, two in Manhattan, and two in the Bronx–each with five pedestrian fatalities or serious injuries from 2007-2011.

Crossings of East Gun Hill Road and Webster Avenue in the Bronx as well as Neptune Avenue and Ocean Parkway tied for second place with six pedestrian fatalities or serious injuries during the same time period, while the intersection of 57th Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan topped the list with eight.

The report comes as part of Mayor de Blasio‘s Vision Zero effort, and is meant to assist the DOT in their mission of improving safety conditions at 50 city intersections per year. The report goes into details for each of the top 20 intersections specified, listing improvements that have been made as well suggestions for future improvements and a schedule for implementation.

Here are the details on Ocean Parkway and Church:

Actions Taken:

• Installed LOOK! markings to alert pedestrians to oncoming traffic

• Installed countdown signals to give pedestrians more information to cross the street • Received NYSDOT (part of Prospect Expressway) approval to construct pedestrian safety island

• Constructed pedestrian safety island in north crosswalk to create safer pedestrian crossing • Worked with Community Board 12 and Councilmember Brad Lander to develop enhancements

• Received National Highway Traffic Safety Administration enforcement grant award

Recommendations:

• Coordinate with NYPD for enforcement of intersection

Proposed Schedule to Implement Recommendations:

• Enforcement scheduled for 2014 or 2015

Improving safety at the intersection was a winning 2012 Participatory Budgeting project in City Council District 39. Plans for increased safety measures at the crossing were initially rejected by the New York State DOT, but approved after the death of neighbor Patricia Ngozi Agbim and subsequent demonstrations and visits to Governor Cuomo’s office. The NYC DOT announced it would be extending crossing time for pedestrians at the intersection last July, and began building a pedestrian island (now completed) in autumn 2013.

Do you feel safer crossing Ocean Parkway and Church now with the pedestrian island and other recently added features? And what’s your take on the roughly 18-month timeframe for increased police enforcement to begin?

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3 COMMENTS

  1. From the north side, it’s safer walking west than it used to be, because the lead time is enough to cross before the east/west traffic starts to turn, but walking east you still can’t get all the way across even walking at a good clip before the cars start to turn onto the expressway.

    On the south side it’s not much better, because cars turning onto Ocean Parkway from both sides don’t respect the pedestrian right of way. Trying to cross Church on the east side is very hard because the tractor trailers often try to beat the yellow and get stuck blocking the box, which makes it impossible to get around them because the entire crosswalk is blocked.

  2. Recommendations: • Coordinate with NYPD for enforcement of intersection Proposed Schedule to Implement Recommendations: • Enforcement scheduled for 2014 or 2015

    As much as the improvements are appreciated, the enforcement timeline is stupid. If they know there’s an issue that requires enforcement to cure, why would they implement that cure in 18 months? Does it take that long to schedule a squad car to sit on that intersection at the height of rush hour and ticket the scofflaws? If nothing else, now that the deficiency is acknowledged, it becomes a lawsuit waiting to happen.

  3. Unless and until dedicated LEFT AND RIGHT TURN-ONLY signal intervals with arrows are installed – for traffic turning onto the Prospect Expressway and Ocean Parkway from Church Avenue – the other so-called safety improvements are useless.

    Take a few minutes one day to observe the utter chaos at each and every light change. Danger abounds. Further destruction is inevitable.

    These suggestions are on file at our local Councilmember and State Assemblymember’s offices. DOT contractors have been very busy at the site, installing new stanchions and signals…but there is no evidence that the configuration will change.

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