We missed it in the run-up to the holidays last month, but this item in the Brooklyn Paper is worth a longer look. DOT has announced its intention to implement some safety fixes at the northern end of Grand Army Plaza.
According to the Brooklyn Paper, the agency may calm the racetrack conditions on the plaza’s north end, where drivers speed around the traffic circle without stopping:
The suggested improvements would do away with the loop in favor of a
normal traffic light with a left turn signal at the intersection of
Vanderbilt and Flatbush avenues inside the circle.
The Brooklyn Paper also published a drawing of a re-configured plaza, showing expanded pedestrian areas, but there is no official proposal yet. We asked DOT if they had any renderings of the plan to share, and it looks like they’re still putting together a proposal to present in the coming months.
Robert Witherwax of the Grand Army Plaza Coalition expects any changes on the north end will make it much easier to walk to the middle of the circle, helping to reconnect Olmsted and Vaux’s plaza to the public realm. "Right now," Witherwax said, "people who are running, and running fast, are the only people who can navigate Grand Army Plaza."