The Department of Transportation announced their plan to make the traffic plan and wider medians on 4th Avenue, implemented in Park Slope in 2013, permanent, at the Community Board 7 Transportation Committee meeting Tuesday night and at the Community Board 6 meeting in April.
In 2013, after discussions with the CB6 community, the DOT reduced the number of lanes on 4th Avenue from Carroll Street south in both directions from three to two, widened the parking lanes to 13 feet, and widened the median by four feet on either side in order to reduce the number of crashes and injuries on the thoroughfare.
According to the DOT, since the implementation of these safety improvements, pedestrian injuries declined by 61%, total crashes were reduced by 20%, and crashes with injuries were decreased by 16% along the 4th Avenue segment from Atlantic Avenue-15th Street. Although crashes, like the one that happened Wednesday, still occur on the avenue.
The DOT’s new Great Streets proposal will make these improvements permanent along the entire length of 4th Avenue by installing two-foot-high raised medians with planters, including trees and shrubs, and raised subway vents, as well as adding benches at the pedestrian cut-throughs.
The proposal also includes installing curb extensions at the southeast and southwest corners of the 4th Avenue and Prospect Avenue intersection, and widening the east sidewalk near the Green-Wood Cemetery, in order to make these areas more friendly for pedestrians.
The first phase of the project will be in two segments: from 8th Street to 18th Street, which is partially funded by the 2014 District 39 participatory budgeting vote, and 33rd Street to 52nd Street, and construction is expected to start in spring 2017.
The second phase of the project will cover 18th Street to 33rd Street and 52nd Street to 60th Street, and construction is estimated to begin in spring 2018. The DOT is still trying to secure funds for the final two sections, from Atlantic Avenue to 8th Street and 52nd Street to 65th Street.
The response from Community Board 7 was largely positive, and many community members pointed out how much safer they feel 4th Avenue has become thanks to these changes.
To find out more about the DOT’s plans for 4th Avenue, visit nyc.gov/4thave.