DOT’s Meeker Avenue Safety Plan Is, Well, Meek

DOT unveiled its plan for pedestrian safety improvements along Meeker Avenue in north Brooklyn at last night’s Community Board 1 meeting, but board members and advocates with the “Make Meeker Move” campaign expressed disappointment with DOT’s failure to specifically address the safety of bicycling.

DOT wants to bring pedestrian safety improvements to this around around Meeker Avenue in North Brooklyn. Image: DOT
DOT wants to bring pedestrian safety improvements to this around around Meeker Avenue in North Brooklyn. Image: DOT

This part of Meeker functions as a service road for the BQE. DOT’s proposal [PDF] would improve pedestrian crossings in the area around Meeker, Metropolitan Avenue, and Union Avenue, adding sidewalk extensions at 11 different locations. DOT proposes adding crosswalks at the intersection of Meeker and Union, moving poorly placed entrances to parking lots beneath the highway, and rerouting the Q59 so that it goes directly between Union and Metropolitan without detouring onto Meeker. At the intersection of Metropolitan and North 5th Street, DOT wants to close a slip lane to car traffic to make way for a pedestrian plaza.

Brooklyn safe streets activists have been organizing for a safer Meeker Avenue for the better part of the last year. The mile of Meeker beneath the BQE is a dark and dangerous dividing line between Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Between 2012 and 2014 there were three fatalities and over 100 injuries on the corridor. The project area is just as dangerous, if not more so, with eight fatalities and 90 injuries between 2009 and 2013, according to DOT.

According to Transportation Alternatives Brooklyn organizer Kristen Miller, DOT told CB members who questioned the absence of a bike lane in the plan that they had not considered it because Meeker Avenue does not connect to the broader bike network. Still, Miller said Make Meeker Move would continue to put pressure on DOT and CB 1 for a more comprehensive plan that includes bike lanes and addresses safety concerns on the parts of the corridor that the current proposal neglects. DOT will come back to the board next month with an updated proposal.

Last year, Assembly Member Joe Lentol asked DOT to improve Meeker, and local City Council members Antonio Reynoso and Stephen Levin also support taking action. Levin signed onto the “Make Meeker Move” campaign this week and at last night’s meeting announced a half-million dollar study of pedestrian safety in North Brooklyn.

Here’s the full list of DOT proposals from last night’s presentation:

DOT is proposing these 16 changes to make Meeker Avenue safer. Image: DOT
DOT is proposing these 16 changes to make Meeker Avenue safer. Image: DOT

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

DOT’s Meeker Ave Safety Project Gets — You Guessed It — Meeker

|
DOT has watered down its safety plan for the area around Meeker, Union, and Metropolitan avenues. And for the second time in as many meetings, Brooklyn Community Board 1’s transportation committee could not make quorum last night to vote on the project. DOT’s plan calls for sidewalk extensions and crosswalks at several intersections where Meeker, Union, and […]

Lentol: Safety Improvements Coming to Meeker Avenue in 2016

|
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 […]

This Week: Speak Up for Safe Streets in Fort Greene

|
The sun is out and the snow is melting (or accumulating in large piles where it will remain until April). The Streetsblog calendar is here to help you get over any lingering cabin fever. The headline event is tomorrow’s street safety town hall in Fort Greene. Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo is holding the forum in […]

DOT Hints at Upcoming Bike Projects in North Brooklyn

|
Last night DOT outlined some of the bike projects it’s planning for Williamsburg and Bushwick in the near future, including bike lanes on Meeker Avenue and improved southbound bike connections from the Williamsburg Bridge. While it didn’t come up at the meeting, the looming L train shutdown lends some extra urgency to bike network improvements in this […]

This Week: Bus Lane Bonanza

|
The Streetsblog calendar has a full slate of Select Bus Service and bus lane plans this week. There are also some important bike projects up for consideration by Brooklyn community boards. And now that it’s spring, it’s the season for silly City Council bills that open the door for more cyclist harassment by police. Here are the highlights […]