If you live in or around Park Slope, Brooklyn, then please take just a minute to click this link and send a fax to Borough President Marty Markowitz expressing your support for DOT’s traffic safety plan for 9th Street.
As we’ve reported here on Streetsblog, the Department of Transportation has put forward a thoughtful and comprehensive plan for making one of Park Slope’s most dangerous and crash-prone streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Unfortunately, a small group of mostly car and brownstone-owning 9th Street residents with quite a bit of influence on the local Community Board are organizing vigorously against the plan. They call themselves the Ninth Street Block Association.
Here is what I find remarkable about this group: When two 5th grade boys were mowed down by a landscaping truck at Third Avenue and 9th Street in February 2004, the Ninth Street Block Association was nowhere to be found. When a 77-year-old neighborhood resident was run over and killed by a contractor’s truck at Seventh Avenue and 9th Street in August 2004, the Ninth Street Block Association had nothing to say about that. When a sedan went through the front door of Dizzy’s Diner at Eighth Avenue and 9th Street in July 2005, again, the Ninth Street Block Association was AWOL. It took a resident named Konrad Kaletsch and the owners of Dizzy’s to organize a 1,200 signature petition drive to get DOT to address the fact that the rate of car crashes, injuries and fatalities along the 9th Street corridor was way beyond normal.
Yet, now that a traffic safety plan has finally been put forward, the Ninth Street Block Association is out in force. Why? Because they are deeply concerned that DOT’s pedestrian safety and bike lane plan will limit their ability to double-park, they don’t like the idea of bicycles using "their" street, and they don’t believe that DOT did enough to consult their group before putting the plan forward (never mind that this group showed a complete lack of interest as pedestrians were being knocked down like bowling pins up and down their street).
Don’t let this most base form of NIMBYism win the day. If you live in the neighborhood or regularly use 9th Street, send a fax right now.