Sheepshead A Test Site For Senior Safety Initiative

An example of a proposed curb extension

The Department of Transportation is rolling out a new program to create safer streets for senior citizens across the city, with swaths of the Sheepshead Bay area planned as a test area.

DOT representative Hillary Poole presented details of the project to Community Board 15, following a presentation regarding Bus Rapid Transit / Select Bus Service on the Nostrand Avenue corridor. The Community Board will discuss the issue at their meeting next Tuesday, May 25, at 7 p.m. in the Kingsborough Faculty Dining Room.

The initiative identified areas of concentrated senior citizen populations throughout the city, and also considered data regarding accidents and pedestrian fatalities. Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend and Midwood have clusters of senior citizen residents, and a number of dangerous intersections are targeted for improvements through the program.

Among the proposed changes to increase safety are pedestrian refuges in major avenues (which will be landscaped), extended curbs to improve visibility, and longer traffic signals to accommodate slower walking. They will also ban left turns in some locations to make crossing streets safer.

The majority of the improvements target Ocean Avenue between Gravesend Neck Road and Avenue T, and Coney Island Avenue between Avenue U and Avenue T. (For a list of site-specific improvements, view the pdf after the jump).

During the Monday meeting, a number of board members expressed concern regarding the pedestrian islands. They say the island created at Coney Island Avenue and Brighton Beach Avenue has caused traffic pileups and made the situation more dangerous. The landscaping was also a concern, for fear that trees would limit visibility and falling leaves would make the road slippery in the fall.

Below is a pdf of the DOT’s Sheepshead Bay-area presentation: