This Week: Speak Up for a Safer Fourth Avenue

In June, Brooklyn Community Board 6 rejected a DOT proposal to calm traffic on deadly Fourth Avenue between Pacific and 15th Streets in Park Slope. The plan resulted from years of community activism, it has the backing of City Council Member Brad Lander and other community boards whose districts encompass Fourth Avenue, and it was overwhelmingly endorsed by CB 6’s own transportation committee. But the full board objected to left turn restrictions and expressed opposition to bike corrals, which were not part of the proposal.

On Wednesday, DOT is scheduled to present a modified plan to CB 6. Rational voices are needed to support a years-long effort to save lives on one of Brooklyn’s most dangerous streets. The hearing will convene at 6:30 p.m. at the 78th Precinct, 65 Sixth Avenue, in the courtroom.

Also on the calendar this week:

  • Monday: The New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund is hosting a series of forums on sustainability, featuring candidates for various city offices. Monday’s forum will focus on the race for Queens borough president. The forum will cover a range of issues including solid waste, cleaning up contaminated land, air  and water pollution, cycling, and more. 7 p.m. RSVP requested.
  • Tuesday: NYLCV will hear from candidates for City Council District 7, in Manhattan, on post-Sandy rebuilding, sustainable transportation, clean air and water, and waterfront development. 6:30 p.m. RSVP requested.
  • Wednesday: DOT will present a proposal for new Tribeca bike lanes on Church Street, West Broadway, Varick Street and Sixth Avenue to Community Board 1. 6 p.m.
  • Also Wednesday: At a meeting of the Brooklyn CB 7 transportation committee, MTA staff will make a presentation on the projected 14-month closure of the Montague Street tunnel, and its impact on the R and G subway lines. 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: NYLCV brings its sustainability forum to City Council District 31, in Queens. 7: 30 p.m. RSVP requested.
  • Saturday: Weekend Walks comes to Grand Street in Williamsburg, hosted by the Grand Street Business Improvement District. 2 to 8 p.m.

Keep an eye on the calendar for updated listings. Got an event we should know about? Drop us a line.

  • Ben Kintisch

    This is one of those strange cases when the community residents and the traffic engineers agree on proposed safety improvements but the community board says no thanks anyway.
    Everyone who is available pleas show up in support of the DOT proposal.

  • Reader

    “But the full board objected to left turn restrictions and expressed opposition to bike corrals, which were not part of the proposal.”

    So the plan was shot down because a few board members objected to something that wasn’t in the plan? Sorry, but this community board needs to be replaced. And DOT needs to make Fourth Ave safer regardless of the board.

  • Daphna

    Where does Manhattan Community board 1 stand on bike lanes? Does the Wednesday meeting need support from the public for the proposed bike lane? Sean Sweeney and his anti-liveable streets views have negatively influenced CB2’s decisions. Does he have influence also at CB1??

  • Daphna

    I hope the modified plan for a safer 4th Avenue that the DOT is going to present on Wednesday to Brooklyn CB6 is not akin to the modified plan the DOT presented to Manhattan CB9 and CB10 after they rejected the bus lane on 125th Street. In the case of 125th Street, the DOT in their modified plan, cancelled the bus lane. The DOT entirely watered down the plan for M60 Select Bus Service based on a few cranks on two transportation committees.

  • Jjacobsnyc

    The people opposed to the left turn ban on 3rd street are opposed to it for safety reasons. I would love to see safety enhancements continue on fourth avenue. However, the left turn ban at third street will have the unintended effect of re-routing those cars to fifth street, where there is NO traffic light, sending those cars right past one of the biggest middle schools in the district (ms 51). How can this be considered a safety improvement?

  • Reader

    Because the traffic volumes are very low and not every driver will choose the same alternative. The design of the opposing left turns at 3rd is what is dangerous because it sends drivers turning at the same time directly into each others paths. This is not an issue at other intersections where the turning paths don’t conflict.

  • Anonymous

    If left-turning traffic volumes are high enough to cause accidents on 3rd St., then they are high enough to cause accidents on 5th. The intersection at 5th St/4th Ave. is unsafe both for vehicles
    forced to turn into oncoming traffic, and for pedestrians in the
    crosswalk whom a driver, focused on trying to make a turn w/no traffic light, may not notice. So again, how is this safer?

    3rd St. is much safer for pedestrians – vehicular accidents are the issue there and should be addressed in a way that does not put pedestrians at risk 2 blocks away.

  • Safety First!

    ” The design of the opposing left turns at 3rd is what is dangerous
    because it sends drivers turning at the same time directly into each
    others paths.”

    Sorry – But we Slopers are too smart to swallow whatever the DOT wishes to spoon-feed us without looking more deeply into their analytics.

    The argument that the 3rd street intersection @ 4th Ave sends drivers colliding into each other, even if true, can be remedied in FAR less draconian ways than banning Left Turns altogether. There is no need to completely change traffic patterns throughout our hood b/c the DOT is lazy or wishes to speed an imperfect solution through before Bloomberg leaves office.

    Example: Shorten the medians at 3rd Street thereby increasing the Turning Radii. Involves a little more work, yes, but a better long term solution. DOT needs to do was is RIGHT, not what is EASY or FAST.

    Another solution: Install a 2 way Left Turn light at 3rd Street/4th Ave.

    Or Do both! Makes 4th Ave even SAFER!

    How bout it DOT?

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Three big street redesign projects are on the calendar. Queens Community Board 6 will take up the Rego Park phase of DOT's Queens Boulevard redesign; Manhattan CB 9 will get a look at a revised plan for bike lanes and road diet on Amsterdam Avenue north of 110th Street; and DOT goes to Sunset Park for the second workshop about the redesign of Fourth Avenue.

Tonight: Voice Your Support for a Safer Fourth Avenue

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This week’s calendar is jam-packed with events relating to street safety, bike-share and transit service. The week starts with an important hearing on the future of Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn. With six lanes of moving traffic, Fourth Avenue is wide and dangerous. From 2006 to 2011, seven people were killed while walking on Fourth between […]