PARK SLOPE – Mayor de Blasio unveiled the NYC Department of Transportation‘s (DOT) redesign proposal for 9th Street between 3rd Avenue and Prospect Park West this morning during a press conference held at the intersection where Dorothy Bruns drove her car through a red light and killed two young children in March.
“For the last few months, DOT’s planners, designers and engineers have been hard at work coming up with a safe and smart redesign of 9th Street,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We look forward to getting feedback in June from the local community board, stakeholders and elected officials about our proposed plans.”
The proposed 9th Street redesign includes protected bicycle lanes for six avenue blocks with shortened crossings and slow-turn treatments at intersections; modified loading regulations to reduce double parking; and narrower cross sections that will reduce speeding and maintain traffic flow and emergency access.
DOT’s proposed 9th Street redesign will be presented at tonight’s Park Slope Street Safety Town Hall (info above). It will also be presented to Community Board 6 in June. Following community feedback, installation is scheduled to begin this summer.
With the City’s School Zone Speed Camera Program scheduled to expire next month, the Mayor also called on New York State to renew and expand the program.
Part of the Mayor’s Vision Zero initiative to reduce traffic-related fatalities and injuries across the city, the proposed changes to the Speed Camera Program include installing cameras at an additional 150 school zones (more than double the current number); revising the definition of a school zone to allow DOT to address speeding on streets near schools (currently only streets on which schools are located are designated school zones—not nearby streets); and extending the program until 2022.
“We are doing our part with a redesign of 9th Street to reduce speeding and make it safer. Now we need Albany to do its part,” the Mayor said. “We need school zone speed camera legislation extended and expanded immediately to prevent future tragedies on our streets. Speed cameras save lives.”
Following the deadly crash in March, it was discovered that Bruns’ driving record included four violations for speeding in a school zone and four violations for running a red light in the past two years. She has multiple sclerosis and claims she suffered a seizure at the time of the crash. She was instructed not to drive multiple times by her doctor. Bruns was charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and other counts on May 3.
Since the fatal incident, local politicians have also been calling for legislative reforms that will escalate fines and suspend the vehicle registrations of repeat traffic violators, and require doctors to notify the DMV if a patient has a medical condition that might impair his/her ability to drive safely.