Central Brooklyn

Construction For A Safer Church Ave Begins At ‘The Crossroads Of Kensington’

Community activist Mamnun Haq speaking at the safety improvements groundbreaking on Church and McDonald Avenues, July 11 2017. (Photo by Carly Miller/BKLYNER)

Yesterday, city officials and civic leaders announced the start of a two-month safety improvement project on Church Avenue at one of Kensington’s busiest and most dangerous corners.

Construction will last through the summer on the installation of curb extensions, pedestrian ramps, and catch basins; replacement of the water main; and a complete pavement restoration.

The project, funded through $300,000 from Council Member Brad Lander’s 2013 round of Participatory Budgeting, is expected to calm traffic and improve the sidewalks for neighbors.

The intersection of Church Avenue and McDonald Avenue is in the boro’s top third highest crash corridors, with 21 traffic injuries between 2008 and 2012 according to DOT data and a least another 30 since then, according to Vision Zero reports.

And it’s no wonder, as the site of two train lines, three bus lines, truck routes, and several businesses with apartments stacked on up — not to mention the two pedestrian plazas, post office, elementary school, and women’s shelter nearby.

“Anyone standing here for the past 10 minutes can see how busy this intersection is,” said Assembly Member Robert Carroll.

Photo by Carly Miller/BKLYNER)

As a part of a larger capital project and the Mayor’s Vision Zero inititive, DOT and DDC will add safety features along the 13-block stretch of Church Avenue from Coney Island Avenue to Flatbush Avenue, including more than 10 curb extensions (aka “neckdowns”), 2,540 linear feet of water main replacement, 3 manholes, 51 catch basins, and chute connections.

In addition, the DOT is adding a ‘hardened center line’ at the intersection of Church Avenue and Coney Island Avenue, which should be completed by the end of this month (July, 2017), said DOT officials.

“These necessary infrastructure upgrades will make Church Avenue smoother and more resilient,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio.

Civic leaders, Assembly Member Robert Carroll, DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio, City Council Member Brad Lander, Mamnun Haq, DOT Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Keith Bray, CB 12 District Manager Barry Spitzer. (Photo by Carly Miller/BKLYNER)

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Lander touted the neighborhood’s previous livable streets projects funded through participatory budgeting and community activists, like the pedestrian island at Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway, the Avenue C Plaza and the Kensington Plaza. In addition, there are a couple of PB safety projects still to come, including a sidewalk extension at McDonald Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway that’s expected to be completed by Fall of 2020 ($300,000 allocated from the 2014 PB cycle).

“The project — another participatory budgeting winner — will calm traffic, improve traffic flow, and create safer pedestrian crossings at the crossroads of Kensington,” said Kensington’s City Council Member Brad Lander.

Construction is expected to be completed by September, in time for the first day of school at nearby P.S. 230.

Breaking Ground: Mamnun Haq, CB 12 District Manager Barry Spitzer, Assembly Member Robert Carroll, DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio, City Council Member Brad Lander, and DOT Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Keith Bray. (Photo by Carly Miller/BKLYNER)
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  1. On the surface, it appears that it’s only 3 bus lines (B67, B69 and B35) crossing the intersection. Upon closer observation, there’s the additional traffic caused by the southbound McDonald Avenue routing of various Brooklyn-Manhattan express buses and the B103 Limited, which all make the left turn onto eastbound Church Avenue.

    The intersection is particularly tricky in that it is not a true perpendicular…eastbound Church Avenue slants northward, sharpening the turning angles – especially for buses and the gigantic 18-wheelers traveling a designated truck route after exiting the Prospect Expressway farther up the McDonald Avenue hill. Truckers moving westbound on Church Avenue have an absolutely miserable turning radius onto McDonald, effectively ending up in the oncoming traffic lanes, with the potential for their rear wheels hopping onto the sidewalk. I hope DOT has completely studied and accounted for this phenomenon in their master plan.

  2. Hey City Hall. What are we Chop Liver? Cleveland Street between Sutter and Blake Avenues have the next worse city street. Mother’s with strollers, children and elderly are forced to walk in the street to prevent falling over a raise sidewalk caused by overgrown city tree roots. Infact, a 92 year man fell and burst his head last year. Thank God his fall did not result in a blood clot on the brain, which is just as dangerous as being hit by a car in your area. Both scenerios puts all at a risking their safety and health. ‘City Squatters’, do your job! And after complaining to every Jane, Tom, Dick and Harry, I can boldly say, we are not Chicken Heads either. Thank you. Respectfully.


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