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

DOT's updated proposal for Meeker Avenue opts for new neckdowns instead of a closed slip lane at the triangle formed by Metropolitan Avenue, Havemeyer Avenue and N. 5th Street. Image: DOT
DOT’s updated proposal for Meeker Avenue opts for curb extensions instead of a car-free space at the triangle formed by Metropolitan Avenue, Havemeyer Avenue, and N. 5th Street. Image: DOT

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 Metropolitan converge. It’s not a “complete street” redesign of the length of Meeker, but it would be a step up for pedestrian safety at these locations. There were three fatalities and more than 90 injuries in the project area between 2009 and 2013.

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

Last night’s presentation included a few modifications from what DOT showed in January. Significantly, the plan no longer calls for pedestrianizing the short segment of North 5th Street between Metropolitan and Havemeyer. Instead, DOT will add neckdowns at three corners.

DOT Project Manager Julio Palleiro said the change was made at the request of the Church of the Annunciation, whose front entrance faces the would-be plaza. The church initially OK’d the car-free space, but came back to DOT after last month’s presentation. “They made a very strong case about elderly folks that need to get up to the front door here, and by having them over here that will add an extra 30 or 40 feet, which is significant for elderly people,” Palleiro said.

Last month, members of Transportation Alternatives’ “Make Meeker Move” campaign were disappointed by the lack of bike infrastructure in DOT’s proposal. That hasn’t changed, but DOT did make some tweaks in response to their feedback. While the original plan added parking spots on Metropolitan, DOT removed them after TA volunteers said they could be obstacles to the future installation of a bike lane. “We don’t have any study showing we can put any bike lanes on Metropolitan at this point in time, but we don’t want to add any parking to preclude that future possibility,” Palleiro said.

After two committee members came and left last night, there was no longer a quorum to vote on DOT’s plan. CB 1 said this morning that the committee chair will still present the plan for the full board’s endorsement on March 8.

TA volunteer Jeff Csicsek said improvements like curb extensions and crosswalks are an incremental step in the right direction but fall short of aspirations. “I think it could be an amazing bike corridor,” he said. “If you have protected bike facilities there, just imagine coming off the Williamsburg Bridge — connecting [with Meeker] and that being kind of like the spine of a solid bike network in North Brooklyn.”

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

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

|
Wow, someone on #bkcb1 asked @NYC_DOT “what about bicycles?” Terrible answer though: we didn’t think of ? because we didn’t think of ? — Mike Cherepko (@mikecherepko) January 13, 2016 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tremont Avenue in Line for New Cross-Bronx Bike Route

|
Last month, when Council Member Ritchie Torres lambasted DOT’s deference to community boards over street safety projects, he anticipated a fight over the agency’s plan for bike lanes on Tremont Avenue. DOT presented its design for the western segment of Tremont Avenue to Bronx Community Board 5 on January 20 [PDF] and, the following day, presented the design for the eastern segment […]

DOT Reveals a Flatbush Ave Pedestrian Safety Plan By Atlantic and Fourth

|
Last night DOT presented its initial concept for pedestrian safety improvements near the convergence of Flatbush, Atlantic, and Fourth avenues in Brooklyn [PDF]. The intersection is located at the center of Brooklyn’s largest transit hub, where the Long Island Railroad meets eight subway lines and four MTA bus routes. The Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Barclays […]