Requiem for Three Pedestrian Islands in Boro Park

For the historical record, here’s three minutes of rather dull video capturing the pedestrian refuges on Fort Hamilton Parkway and 46th Street in Brooklyn. When the camera pans right you can also see the intersection at 47th Street, where there’s another refuge. I took the footage at the tail end of the p.m. rush this Wednesday, a few minutes before 6:30.

This is the Safe Streets for Seniors project that had local Assembly Member Dov Hikind up in arms for months, contending that the refuges impeded emergency response and interfered with deliveries to local businesses. While nearby Maimonides Medical Center and the FDNY said the islands posed no problem, the Hatzolah volunteer ambulance corps apparently felt differently and petitioned the local community board to have them taken out. Now DOT is going to remove these three refuges and add 24 blocks of striped center median, from 37th Street to 61st Street, to help compensate for the loss. A median island between 45th Street and New Utrecht Avenue will get shaved down but remain in place.

So, watch and see what all the fuss is about. In the snippet of time I got on video, the only person with any reason to complain is the cyclist who got a rude honking from a passing van driver at about the two-minute mark. Below is more footage from the intersection at 45th Street and the median island that’s slated for shaving.

Though they don’t appear in these videos, there were also a few grown men with payos cycling on Fort Hamilton while I was down in Boro Park. No generalizing about Hasidim in the comments, please.

  • Mike

    The striped center median is a big disappointment: this is a bike master plan route, with plenty of cyclists along it, and the median will move moving cars closer to the parked cars, eliminating the place where cyclists can ride relatively safely now.

  • Sammy Weinstein

    I suppose all you can really say is that Dov Hikind and his community deserve the crappy, dangerous, traffic-choked, automobile-oriented streets that they are going to get.

  • Albert

    “Now DOT is going to remove these three refuges and add 24 blocks of striped center median, from 37th Street to 61st Street”

    And how much is this additional demolition/paving/painting work going to cost taxpayers in these teacher-layoff times?

  • Albert

    “Now DOT is going to remove these three refuges and add 24 blocks of striped center median, from 37th Street to 61st Street”

    And how much is this additional demolition/paving/painting work going to cost taxpayers in these teacher-layoff times?

  • Mark Walker

    This would be a farce if lives weren’t at stake.

  • Mark

    NYC is a big enough city with lots and lots of streets that need fixing.   DOT can find plenty of opportunities to fix streets in neighborhoods that want them.   Creating a process to request changes like this can prevent all of these problems in the future.

  • Paul Peterson

    Folks are complaining about THESE???

  • sam

    What about the safety hazard it causes for fire trucks and ambulances?????
    watch this video to see.
    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2010/11/01/dangerous-roads-brooklyn-street-barrier/

  • moocow

    Apparently the Orthodox Jews you see in this part of town are not hasidim. I asked a local orthodox man, on a bike, and he said the williamsburg sect are comparable to the Tea Party, and about as popular in the Brooklyn community. It was news to him how the hasids treat cyclists (I told him of my personal experiences commuting on the Kent ave lane, the purposeful blocking of it and the threatening things these people do with their cars). It was a very interesting conversation, and I am glad he set me straight.

  • Maskw

    if you took this video after school was over the traffic is just about 20% of the usual rush hour traffic AM and PM I live in the area I wish your video is real the rest of they year…

  • Andrew

    Why does that matter?  The islands don’t reduce the capacity of the street.  They only make it safer to cross (which is most important when traffic is heavy) by forcing vehicles to turn into the proper lane rather than swinging across the yellow line and by giving pedestrians a designated place to stand if they can’t make it all the way across before the light changes.

  • Andrew

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