Levin Traffic Task Force Gets to Work

A traffic task force spearheaded by Brooklyn Council Member Steve Levin and the Boerum Hill Association convened for the first time Wednesday night. Levin’s district includes several neighborhoods battered by traffic heading to and from the free East River bridges, and local residents have been engaged for years in efforts to make streets safer, eventually yielding improvements like the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project.

The Carroll Gardens Patch reports that a group of about a dozen residents outlined an agenda last night that primarily focuses on improvements in street safety.

The first task is to look into installing red light cameras, leading pedestrian intervals … and pedestrian countdowns on Atlantic Avenue.

The group also voted to look into installing speed cameras in the neighborhood.

In addition, the task force is interested in bringing bike-share to Boerum Hill, as well as 20 mph zones.

“It was a really positive, productive, candid discussion,” says Juan Martinez, general counsel for Transportation Alternatives. “The council member’s constituents have a sophisticated understanding of how to make our streets safer, and it’s great to see that [Levin] is responding to it.”

Martinez points out that Levin is a co-sponsor of Int. 370-A, the Saving Lives Through Better Information Bill, which would require the city to publicize data on traffic collisions online. “Right now, residents know where the dangerous intersections are, they know that street signals need to be re-timed on Atlantic Avenue so drivers don’t behave like it’s a freeway. But without data, residents can’t quantify the problem.” Stepping up traffic enforcement is another item on the task force to-do list.

Co-chair and Levin staffer Hope Reichbach intends task force discussions to serve as the means, not the ends. “It’s frustrating for people because you hear about something and it never seems to go anywhere,” she said Wednesday. “So this forum to me, I want to go over what anyone thinks, what comes to mind to people, and then [move to] the next step.”

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