DOT Unveils Kensington, Windsor Terrace Safety Measures After Child’s Death

Schools dot the area where parents have pleaded with DOT to help slow speeding drivers. Image: DOT
Schools dot the area where parents have pleaded with DOT to help slow speeding drivers. Image: DOT

DOT is planning a number of street improvements for Kensington and Windsor Terrace after a hit-and-run driver killed a child last year.

Last November Lynn Reynolds, 78, drove a minivan over 14-year-old Mohammad Uddin as he walked home from school on E. Seventh Street at Caton Avenue in Kensington. Reynolds reportedly exited her vehicle after the crash before driving off. Her attorney said she “didn’t see” Uddin because it was dark.

As reckless drivers endanger children near neighborhood schools, and with another school under construction at the intersection where Uddin was killed, City Council Member Brad Lander joined parents who have for over a year urged the city to implement traffic safety measures in the area. DOT announced its plan [PDF] last week at a packed community meeting attended by Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

DOT is working up a proposal for a road diet on Caton Avenue from Coney Island Avenue to Ocean Parkway, which would convert the street to one through-lane in each direction with a painted median, turning lanes, and pedestrian refuge islands “in select locations.” The plan may incorporate left turn treatments at Caton Avenue and Ocean Parkway, where pedestrians contend with speeding drivers and long crossing distances. No bike lanes included.

DOT is looking to reduce the speed limit around the new PS/IS 437 school, at Caton and E. Seventh, and PS 230 Lower to 20 miles per hour, with signage and speed bumps, pending studies to be completed this spring. New stop signs, signals, and markings would be installed on the streets around PS/IS 437, and E. Seventh and E. Eighth Streets would be made one-way. Parking regulations would be altered to establish drop-off zones for school buses and parents who drive their kids to the new school. Lander and DOT have requested a crossing guard for PS/IS 437.

The NYC School Construction Authority will add curb space on Caton Avenue between E. Seventh and E. Eighth Street, reducing crossing distances at the E. Seventh corner.

This spring, DOT will study new traffic control measures on blocks north of PS/IS 437 and PS 130, from Vanderbilt Street to Terrace Place between McDonald Avenue and 19th Street. Leading pedestrian intervals may be initiated at E. Seventh St. and Caton, Albemarle Road and Dahill Avenue, and Dahill Road at 12th Avenue, depending on the results of a study.

Two speed bumps are planned for Albemarle Road to the west of PS/IS 437. DOT won’t install 12 more “feasible” speed bumps on that street because of objections from Community Board 14.

Outside the Fort Hamilton F/G subway station across from PS 130 on Ocean Parkway, DOT has put in a stop sign and plans to add a crosswalk.

Intersection improvements for McDonald Avenue at Church Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway were funded by Lander constituents via participatory budgeting. Construction at Church Avenue is scheduled to start this year, with project planning for the Fort Hamilton Parkway crossing is “to be initiated soon.”

“There’s no question there’s a lot we can do to do better,” Trottenberg told parents last week, according to DNAinfo. “It’s a huge city and we’re not always on top of it like we should be…We rely on hearing input from communities…I hear your frustrations, but please stay in partnership with us.”

  • Alex

    1. Why no bike lanes? Painted medians are a complete waste of space and paint for that matter. Narrow the street and put protected bike lanes on it.
    2. Who are these people opposing speed bumps on Albemarle? Yes, I know, long-time Community Board members who still think the subway is dangerous. But this is absurd. Albemarle is a nice residential boulevard street. There is no reason not to put speed humps there.

  • r

    1. DOT is afraid of bikes.
    2. DOT is afraid of community boards.

  • BBnet3000

    The lack of bike lanes is a bigger problem in Kensington and Ditmas Park than in other places in Brooklyn. All of the diagonal east/westish streets have very little extra space and so pretty much force people biking to take the lane, which most people aren’t comfortable with. They also all have pretty high traffic levels. A very bad combination.

    Caton is actually one of the better streets to bike on precisely because its multiple lanes allow cars to pass you. I’m sure they’ll paint sharrows on it after dropping the extra lane to add insult to injury. Has anyone from the DOT biked on Parkside? Turning Caton into that will make my travel in this area worse.

  • Alex

    That entire area from the end of the Prospect Expressway over to Park Circle is a mess for bikes and pedestrians. There are some accommodations, but they’re piecemeal, inadequate, and poorly maintained. At the very least, the bike lane on Fort Hamilton that’s there should be two way. But what I’d really like to see is the stupid express ramps from the circle to the expressway obliterated and the street grid restored. They’re utterly pointless and a huge cause of the problems there.

  • YouandWhoseArmy3D

    Speed bumps on Seeley please….

  • D’BlahZero

    Not to imply any moral equivalence, but “no bike lanes included” in coverage of DOT is becoming as common as “no criminality suspected” in coverage traffic collisions.

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