NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and NYPD’s Patrol Borough Brooklyn North Deputy Inspector Amin Kosseim today unveiled the Brooklyn Pedestrian Safety Action Plan that establishes a comprehensive set of actions for DOT, NYPD, and other agencies and serves as the next major step in achieving Vision Zero. The Borough Plans are one of 63 Vision Zero initiatives announced last year. The plans were developed by integrating detailed crash analysis with input from 28 Vision Zero town halls and public workshops, including over 10,000 comments submitted by New Yorkers.
This analysis and input resulted in the identification of Brooklyn’s most dangerous corridors, intersections, and areas, which are clearly identified in the plan’s Brooklyn Priority Map. The announcement was held at Brooklyn Ascend Charter School in Brownsville, where DOT will install a midblock pedestrian safety median, traffic signal, and a new crosswalk on Rockaway Parkway this year to help parents and their children get safely to their school. Rockaway Parkway is identified as a “Priority Corridor,” meaning that it historically had high rates of death and severe injury to pedestrians. Priority corridors, intersections, and areas will be the focus of future engineering & planning, education, and enforcement activity. An average of 46 pedestrians were killed in Brooklyn each year in the three year period from 2011 to 2013, the most of any borough in the city. Pedestrians make up 56% of the traffic fatalities in Brooklyn.
“I’m proud to be in the City’s most populous borough to release the Brooklyn Pedestrian Safety Action Plan,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “These Borough Plans combine cutting edge data analysis and community input from thousands of New Yorkers in all five boroughs. They will help the City target its engineering, enforcement, and education efforts to make New York’s streets the safest in the world.”
“The Borough Pedestrian Safety Plans are another step forward in our collaborative goal of achieving Vision Zero,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan. “They are a manifestation of the city’s strong commitment and dedication to Vision Zero and will assist the NYPD in deployment of its traffic safety resources. The plans will also draw awareness to Vision Zero and the unified approach to making our roadways safer.”
“As an early proponent of Vision Zero, I’m excited about NYCDOT’s proposals, made in concert with Brooklynites that were engaged by a collaborative process, to make the most dangerous corridors and intersections in Brooklyn safer for all who use them,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “I’m particularly pleased with the attention that will be given to priority areas like Bedford-Stuyvesant, Borough Park, Brownsville and Sunset Park, communities that have high rates of pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries but historically have not received the attention they deserve. I look forward to continuing to work with Commissioner Trottenberg and our communities to make our roads safe for people of all ages and abilities.”
“Borough pedestrian plans like the one released today will give elected officials, community boards, and residents alike the data we need to know exactly where our resources should go to achieve Vision Zero,” said New York City Council Transportation Committee Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez.” By targeting certain neighborhoods, intersections, and roads we will ensure that Vision Zero is one step closer to reality.”
“New Yorkers are often in a hurry but we are not callous. Our hearts have been touched by the stories of children, adults and senior citizens horrifically injured and killed in traffic incidents and by the advocacy of the loved ones they’ve left behind,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. “The Brooklyn Pedestrian Safety Action Plan is a collaboratively developed, data driven plan for avoiding future traffic fatalities and I’m eager to engage with the plan’s details. As a parent, a central Brooklyn resident and a representative of the people of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights, I’m grateful for Vision Zero’s unprecedented focus on saving lives and this valuable tool for accomplishing that goal.”
“The Borough Pedestrian Safety Plans is a hands-on approach to tackling our city’s dangerous corridors and intersections. Through community engagement, we are now equipped with the necessary data to make improvements in areas that will make the greatest impact and increase pedestrian safety,” Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo.
“I am proud to be a strong supporter of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan. I have worked together with Commissioner Trottenberg and my colleagues in the New York City Council to continue to make our city safe for motorists and pedestrians,” said Council Member Chaim Deutsch. “As the Councilman of one of the City’s most senior populated districts, I am especially attuned to the disproportionately high number of seniors involved in vehicular accidents. The plan that the Mayor and Commissioner are unveiling today will address some of my biggest concerns with regard to safety, including expanding pedestrian crossing time at certain intersections, adding lighting at key MTA transit locations, and modifying traffic signals to reduce off-peak speeding. I thank the Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for their work to reduce traffic related accidents and fatalities.”
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Trottenberg and NYPD’s Patrol Borough Brooklyn North Deputy Inspector Amin Kosseim on the release of the Brooklyn Pedestrian Safety Action Plan,” said Council Member Rafael Espinal. “I am especially excited to see how the plan will improve some notoriously dangerous intersections along Atlantic Avenue in my district. As a main traffic artery in Brooklyn, Atlantic Avenue has been the location for many fatalities over the years and the implementation of certain safety measures, such as raising the median throughout the corridor, is a critical next step toward improving safety for both pedestrians and drivers.”
“We’ve made significant progress since Mayor de Blasio launched Vision Zero last year, but there’s still a long way to go. This plan allows us to focus our efforts in the highest impact way and will save countless lives as we move forward with its implementation,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “The Brooklyn Borough Pedestrian Safety Plan is the result of actual crash data, as well as the input of thousands of people who participated in Vision Zero town halls and public workshops. It covers the highest needs of pedestrian safety across the borough and provides a roadmap for achieving safer streets in all of Brooklyn. I thank Mayor de Blasio for his leadership on this issue across the city, and I look forward to working with DOT and the NYPD to help Brooklyn achieve our Vision Zero goals.”
“As an elected official my number one concern will always be public safety. I commend Mayor de Blasio, the Department of Transportation and the NYPD for coming together to create a comprehensive plan that will identify particularly problematic areas and prevent traffic injuries and fatalities,” said Council Member Vincent J. Gentile. “We must all work together towards making our streets a safe place where pedestrians, cyclists and motorists can all co-exist peacefully and responsibly. We are all partners here and it is this individual commitment to a group effort that will help make Vision Zero a reality.”
In Brooklyn, pedestrian fatalities fell by 49% in the past three decades, but still one pedestrian is killed or severely injured in Brooklyn everyday. The highest crash locations in the borough are concentrated in neighborhoods such as Sunset Park, Crown Heights, Brownsville, South Williamsburg, and Bushwick and arterial streets like Atlantic Avenue and Ocean Parkway. Additionally, 36% of Brooklyn’s pedestrian fatalities occur on local residential streets, and 23% occur at the intersection of two such streets, compared to 16% citywide.
Senior citizens comprise just 12% of the borough’s population, but account for 36% of the borough’s pedestrian fatalities. In Brooklyn, 40% of pedestrian travel occurs during rush hours, but only 20% of traffic fatalities occurred in that time, while 18% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in overnight hours (12 a.m. to 6 a.m.), though less than 5% of the pedestrian activity takes place in those hours. Dangerous driver choices were the primary cause or contributing factor in 65% of pedestrian fatalities.
Overall the plan identified 49 Priority Corridors, 91 Priority Intersections, and 18 square miles of Priority Areas where crashes that severely injure or kill pedestrians are concentrated. Sixty one percent of all pedestrian fatalities from 2009-2013 were concentrated within these priority geographies. The 49 Priority Corridors consist of just 9 percent (142 miles) of the borough’s total street mileage but contain half of the boroughs total pedestrian fatalities and severe injuries (KSI.) The 91 Priority Intersections are just 1% of the over 10,000 intersections in the borough, but they were the site of 15% of its pedestrian KSI. Finally, the Priority Areas constitute just 25% of the borough’s land area (18 square miles) but contain half of all pedestrian KSI. The plans for the first time reveal the detailed fatality and injury rates of individual corridors and intersections, which will improve how DOT and NYPD work with the public to improve safety.
The Brooklyn Pedestrian Safety Action Plan also followed an extensive community outreach, dialogue and input process in 2014 at town hall meetings and public workshops and online, which resulted in over 4,764 pedestrian safety issues being shared with DOT. Speeding (22%) and failure to yield (21%) were the most frequently cited issues. Seventy four percent of workshop attendees viewed wide arterial streets as the most important areas for pedestrian safety improvements. And finally, 45% of the issues shared fall outside of the Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas, highlighting the need for improved engagement in areas with low levels of feedback but high rates of injury. This input will inform and guide our efforts to collaboratively develop interventions that will make Brooklyn safer.
The Action Plan consists of engineering & planning, enforcement and education & awareness campaigns involving multiple agencies. The Priority Map will serve as a guide for DOT, NYPD and others to systematically improve streets which show high rates of fatalities and serious crashes. The specific actions include:
Engineering and Planning
- Implement at least 50 Vision Zero safety engineering improvements annually at Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas citywide
- Significantly expand exclusive pedestrian crossing time on all Brooklyn Priority Corridors by the end of 2017
- Add exclusive pedestrian crossing time to all feasible Brooklyn Priority Intersections by the end of 2017
- Modify signal timing to reduce off-peak speeding on all feasible Brooklyn Priority Corridors by the end of 2017
- Install additional speed limit signs on all Brooklyn Priority Corridors in 2015
- Drive community input and engagement at Brooklyn Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas
- Install additional lighting under elevated trains and at other key transit stops
- Coordinate with MTA to ensure bus operations contribute to a safe pedestrian environment
- Expand the bicycle network in Brooklyn that improves safety for all road users
- Proactively design for pedestrian safety in high-growth areas in Brooklyn including locations in the Housing New York plan
- Implement the majority of speed cameras at Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas
- Focus enforcement and deploy dedicated resources to Brooklyn NYPD precincts which overlap substantially with Priority Areas
- Concentrate targeted enforcement at all Brooklyn Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas annually
Education and Awareness Campaigns
- Target child and senior safety education at Brooklyn Priority Corridors and Priority Areas
- Launch multilingual public information campaigns in Brooklyn Priority Areas
- Focus Street Team outreach at Brooklyn Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas
DOT also provided an advance look at a few anticipated 2015 Vision Zero safety projects for the borough beyond the Rockaway Parkway project. They include:
- Atlantic and Washington avenues Intersection Safety Improvement
- Linden Boulevard Corridor Improvements
- Ocean Avenue Bike Lanes
In 2014, DOT expanded its efforts to improve the safety of its streets through engineering treatments. In that year DOT cumulatively made the most significant changes for safety than any previous year and these improvements resulted in the lowest pedestrian fatality totals since record-keeping began in 1910. NYPD also stepped up enforcement, increasing summonses for failure to yield to pedestrians by 126%, deterring one of the leading factors behind pedestrian fatalities.
The Brooklyn Pedestrian Safety Action Plan and the other borough plans are available at the DOT website at www.nyc.gov/dot.