Neighbors who say they frequently feel as though their lives are at stake while navigating area roads fraught with short crossing times, speeding cars, unsafe turns, and more are urging the community to support the city Department of Transportation’s plans for major safety improvements in the area.
In May, the DOT presented their final proposals for Caton Avenue, from Ocean Parkway to Coney Island Avenue, and neighbors have so far given the plans a resounding thumbs-up, with more than 100 people already signing this petition urging Community Board 7 to approve the safety improvements.
The proposed plans come at a time that everyone from Councilman Brad Lander to numerous parents and other community leaders have said is crucial, with cries for change becoming even louder following the hit-and-run death of a 14-year-old Mohammad Naiem Uddin and in light of the fact that an incoming school on Caton Avenue will open next fall.
Neighbor Meema Spadola wrote in her petition to CB 7:
In November 2014, the Kensington-Windsor Terrace community in Brooklyn lost 14-year-old Mohammad ‘Naiem’ Uddin, who was struck and killed by a hit and run driver in the crosswalk at Caton Avenue and E. 7th Street while crossing with the light. With the opening of the new PS/IS 437 building at Caton Ave and E. 7th Street and the existing PS 130 at 70 Ocean Parkway as well as nearby schools like PS 230 and the Prospect Charter, there will be an increased flow of children and families in this area. Clearly, there is an urgent need to make our streets safer for all who live, work and attend school in this neighborhood.
Changes that the DOT has proposed include:
- Install new pedestrian pedestrian crosswalks and signals along Caton Avenue to improve access and safety.
- Implement three new pedestrian islands along Caton Avenue to shorten the crossing distance.
- Add a left-turn signal at the Caton Avenue and Ocean Parkway service road intersection.
- Convert the Caton Avenue corridor to one lane in each direction, from Ocean Parkway to Coney Island Avenue, and add left turn lanes to reduce speeding.
- Convert E. 7th Street to a one-way northbound road from Caton Avenue to Kermit Place.
- Convert E. 8th Street to a one-way southbound road from Caton Avenue to Ocean Parkway.
- Remove one to two parking spots at Caton and E. 8th Street, Kermit Place and E. 8th Street, E. 8th Street and Route 27, and Kermit Place and E. 7th Street to improve visibility.
- Move the eastbound B16 bus stop from the southwest corner of Caton Avenue and Ocean Parkway to the bridge on Caton Avenue that passes over Ocean Parkway to improve bus operation and traffic flow.