A graphic from the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project final plan showing pedestrian safety recommendations for Third Avenue and Baltic Street
The five-year, $1.2 million, Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project recommended "neckdowns" and a "raised crosswalk" at Third Avenue and Baltic Street, the intersection where four-year-old James Jacaricce and his 18-year-old Aunt Ta-Nayin St. John were run over by a bright yellow General Motors Hummer driven by Ken Williams, a 48-year-old Brownsville resident (Click here to download that section of the Traffic Calming plan).
Looking up Baltic Street from Third Avenue
While it is impossible to know definitively if Tuesday’s crash could have been prevented, the pedestrian safety measures recommended nearly four years ago in the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project are designed specifically to prevent the type of "right-turn conflict" that resulted in the four-year-old’s death. The community-driven plan, created by the international consulting firm Arup, urged New York City’s Department of Transportation to install neckdowns and a raised crosswalk at Baltic Street where vehicles from busy, fast-moving, truck-heavy Third Avenue turn onto the quieter, more residential street. A raised crosswalk makes pedestrians more visible to drivers as they walk across the street. Neckdowns make it more difficult for drivers to execute fast, careless turns into the crosswalk while pedestrians are crossing.
The recommendations were never implemented by the Department of Transportation despite widespread community support for the plan. DOT has not yet responded to questions about why the safety measures were never implemented.
Tuesday’s crash is reminiscent of the deaths Juan Estrada and Victor Flores, fifth-graders at P.S. 124 in Park
Slope, who were crushed to death by a right-turning, gravel-filled landscaping truck as they crossed Third Avenue at 9th Street, on February 9, 2004, nearly three years ago to the day of James Jacaricce’s death.
Graphics: Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project Final Report