Tonight: Speak Up for Safer Crossings at Flatbush/Atlantic/Fourth

Forest City Ratner and DOT want to turn Times Plaza by the Barclays Center into an attractive public space. Photo: Google Maps
Forest City Ratner and DOT want to turn Times Plaza by the Barclays Center into an attractive public space. Photo: Google Maps

A DOT public workshop tonight aims to get the ball rolling on safety improvements at the monstrous intersections where Flatbush, Atlantic, and Fourth avenues converge.

At a meeting in January, Barclays Center developer Forest City Ratner showed a proposal for benches, tables, and planters in Times Plaza — the pedestrian island in the middle of Atlantic, Flatbush and Fourth. Attendees questioned the wisdom of moving forward with public space enhancements without first making it safe to walk to the plaza. Last year alone, six pedestrians and one cyclist were injured at the intersections around the plaza, according to Vision Zero View.

Since then, advocates with Transportation Alternatives’ “People First on Atlantic Avenue” campaign have pushed for safety fixes at the location. This past Saturday, TA volunteers set up a temporary public plaza to draw attention to the space’s potential and the treacherous conditions inhibiting it.

At tonight’s workshop, you can tell DOT what’s wrong with the intersections and brainstorm safety improvements. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Brooklyn YWCA, 30 Third Avenue.

  • Guest

    Legal bike access without having to dismount between Ashland/Hanson and Flatbush/4th Ave would be nice too but I’m not holding my breath.

  • MtotheI

    YES!!!!

  • Mike

    Well, there are curb cuts on both sides….

    But, seriously, during much of the day, the pedestrian traffic there makes a dismount the right thing to do. It’s what, maybe ten feet? Not too terrible.

  • JudenChino

    I stopped by the Pop-Up on Saturday with my newborn. It was raining. Not too much foot traffic but still inspirational nonetheless. But man, crossing Atlantic from the PC Richards & Sons side is stressful as fuck. I’ve never crossed that before on foot (I’m usually riding everywhere).

    I don’t know what will come out of this workshop but they really need to make the crossings as easy and hospitable for pedestrians and other vulnerable street users. Like, you feel like you’re this little spec of dust in the way of a tsunami of automobiles, just waiting to gun it as soon as they see green.

    EDIT: And it’s a shame that we can’t build over Flatbush/Atlantic or lower those roads because of the trains below. But this should really all be pedestrian plazas in full. Same with West St by the WTC. Just a disaster. Should be nothing but peds when you have such a high volume. SoHo too!

    And you see these other cities, making transformative investments in their infrastructure and streetscape, such as London and Paris, in part in recognition of Climate Change as well as how we live. Whereas here, we’ve got a mayor with much authority to “fix the roads,” and this fucking coward is afraid of removing free street parking in densely populated areas with excellent transit access. I hate that de Blasio makes me pine for Bloomberg.

  • Guest

    I’m not talking about making it legal to cycle on the sidewalk, I’m talking about a pass-through either at street grade or a middle grade that would make it so people cycling don’t have to go onto the sidewalk at all. As is the curb cuts aren’t even lined up so one way or the other you can’t take the shortest route across the sidewalk (inconveniencing people walking as little as possible) unless you lift your bike over a curb or drop it on the far side.

    They closed off the street (you used to be able to drive the route I’m talking about) a few years ago without any thought to keeping the route open for cycling. This project is an opportunity to fix that. Like I said, I’m not holding my breath.

  • Bernard Finucane

    The nose that sticks out in front of the Barclay center is on the wrong side of the Flatbush. It should be in front of Modell’s. That would end the straight shot down Flatbush, but would make the intersection more workable.

    Flatbush should be closed in front of Atlantic Terminal and the traffic rerouted around the triangle onto 4th.

    The result would be a curve in Flatbush, a perpendicular intersection between Flatbush and Atlantic, and another perpendicular intersection between 4th and Atlantic. There would be a lot of room for humans in front of the Atlantic Terminal.

    Also curve State at Flatbush to make a perpendicular intersection instead of an ultrawide one, and shut down Shermerhorn between Flatbush and 3rd.

    Livingston and Flatbush needs similar treatment: Livingston needs two standard sized lanes meeting Flatbush perpendicularly. To do this, remove the slip lane and curve Livingston.

  • Bernard Finucane

    Just looking at the streets in the area with google maps, you ca n see that every single intersection is poorly designed. Look at this, for example, at the corner of Hoyt and Livingston:

    https://www.google.de/maps/@40.689631,-73.985739,3a,90y,276.7h,56.77t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sSNOTvNdYpRU6BS1rGqCXVA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    Why are people standing in the street? To see around the parked truck. This intersection need curb extensions on all four corners.

    Or here:

    https://www.google.de/maps/@40.6897859,-73.9829039,3a,75y,19.64h,72.86t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sQYq64A-HOqQobwLDP4EhCQ!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DQYq64A-HOqQobwLDP4EhCQ%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D199.76884%26pitch%3D0!7i13312!8i6656

    Is this street twice as wide as it needs to be, or three times?

    And here, another repeat:
    https://www.google.de/maps/@40.6891629,-73.9811825,3a,75y,198.56h,69.08t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sycJxpL6NnimJRwKodCgH6A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    Guy standing in the street to see around a cop car, curb extension needed. The cross street needs to curve around to be perpendicular (if not simply pedestrianized). The parking lane beyond the cross street is no man’s land, and there should be a curb extension where another guy is standing. The median should extend through the crosswalk to provide a pedestrian refuge. that also applies on this side of the cross street.

    Same story at St Mark’s and Flatbush. St Mark’s needs to be shut down between 6th and Flatbush, and curved to meet Flatbush perpendicularly on the other side of the street.

    Park Place also needs to be shut down in both directions at Flatbush. Starbucks could set up a great outdoor cafe there. And so on.

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