Lentol: Safety Improvements Coming to Meeker Avenue in 2016

The intersection with Skillman Avenue is just one of many unsafe crossing along Meeker Avenue in Williamsburg/Greenpoint. Image: Google Maps
The intersection with Skillman Avenue is one of many dangerous crossings along Meeker Avenue in Williamsburg/Greenpoint. Photo: Google Maps

DOT will present safety improvements next month for Meeker Avenue by the BQE in Williamsburg, according to Assembly Member Joe Lentol. The department told Lentol’s office it would bring a proposal to Brooklyn Community Board 1 on January 12.

Meeker Avenue runs under the BQE for a mile between North 6th Street and Vandevoort Avenue, dividing the neighborhood in half and posing risks to pedestrians and cyclists at nearly every corner. In 2014, 21-year-old Marisol Martinez was killed by an MTA bus driver while crossing the street at Union Avenue. In total, there were three fatalities and 104 injuries on Meeker between 2012 and 2014.

In April, Transportation Alternatives launched the Make Meeker Move campaign, calling on DOT to study pedestrian safety improvements and protected bike lanes along the corridor.

The next month, Lentol sent a letter to DOT requesting a pedestrian crossing where Skillman Avenue intersects with Meeker. DOT’s response indicates that the agency is looking primarily at ways to shorten crossing distances:

The Pedestrian Projects Group completed a field investigation at the above location. As a result of their investigation, this Department will be proposing improvements to this location, as well as other locations along Meeker Avenue (from Union to Metropolitan Avenues). Proposed improvements will include shorter crosswalks, wider sidewalks, improved signal timing and clear lane designations.

“Many people treat [Meeker Avenue] like the BQE,” Lentol said in a statement yesterday. “I have witnessed people going at least 50 miles per hour up and down Meeker Avenue. It is time we see safety improvements along this roadway to [slow] drivers down, and ultimately, save lives.”

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