The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today unveiled new pedestrian safety improvements completed at the intersection of three busy streets: Atlantic Avenue, Washington Avenue, and Underhill Avenue. From 2009-2013, this area had 99 injuries resulting from traffic crashes, with 2 being severe. DOT Deputy Commissioner Transportation Planning and Management Ryan Russo and Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Keith Bray were joined by community leaders, including John Longo of Dean Street Restaurant, Michelle George of Community Board 8, Phillip Kellogg of Fulton Area Business Alliance, and Caroline Samponaro of Transportation Alternatives at the new intersection.
“Atlantic, Washington, and Underhill Avenues has long been a dangerous intersection that divided this neighborhood,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “I am proud of my team for tacking this complex intersection and making it safer for the Brooklynites who walk, cycle, and drive through it daily.”
As part of Vision Zero, the DOT implemented the following safety improvements at the intersection of Atlantic, Washington, and Underhill Avenues:
- Installed shortened crosswalks.
- Built expanded concrete pedestrian space on medians and pedestrian islands.
- Installed leading pedestrian interval signal, allowing pedestrians 15 additional seconds to cross without vehicle conflict.
- Increased pedestrian crossing times.
- Restricted left turn from southbound Washington Avenue to eastbound Atlantic Avenue.
- Installed left turn flashing yellow signal at northbound Washington Avenue.
- Installed new crosswalks across Atlantic Avenue to Lowry Triangle, and along eastern edge of Washington Avenue, reflecting pedestrian desire line.
- Restricted turns from southbound Washington Avenue and westbound Atlantic Avenue to Underhill Avenue, eliminating a confusing vehicle turn.
- Installed new safety bollards to protect pedestrians.
“I thank the New York City Department of Transportation for their hard work on advancing the welfare of pedestrians at the intersection of Atlantic, Washington, and Underhill Avenues,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “This popular crossing for residents of Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights now puts safety ahead of speeding, bringing Brooklyn closer to our greater Vision Zero goals.”
“I applaud the Department of Transportation for working with local residents to identify and resolve potential threats to pedestrian safety in the 35th Council District. Through new safety improvements prompted by community advocacy, New Yorkers of all ages can safely cross the intersection of Atlantic, Washington, and Underhill avenues,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo.
“Making it easier and safer to cross this intersection will not only improve pedestrian safety and save lives, these changes will also benefit the local businesses of Fulton Street one block away as people move more freely between Prospect Heights and Clinton Hill. FAB is happy to celebrate the changes at Atlantic and Washington Avenues. And to all the people of Prospect Heights, come on over!” said Phillip Kellogg, Executive Director of Fulton Area Business (FAB) Alliance.
“We thank Commissioner Trottenberg and the DOT for beginning the essential work to fix Atlantic Avenue,” said Caroline Samponaro, Deputy Director of Transportation Alternatives. “These are the kind of safety improvements residents are demanding all along the entire length of Atlantic Avenue, along with dedicated bus lanes and bike lanes to protect the most vulnerable users of the street. For New York City to reach Vision Zero, we need redesigns like these along all of Atlantic Avenue and the other major corridors where most traffic fatalities and serious injuries take place.”
This project follows extensive community outreach for the area and the 2011 completion of the Washington Corridor Project, which saw a 31 percent decrease in crashes following the implementation. Through many community meetings and workshops, the community expressed concerns about short crossing times, long crossing distances, vehicle turning conflicts, and speeding and dangerous driving. Brooklyn Community Board 2 and 8 voted in favor of this project in January 2015.
For more information about the work of DOT, please visit www.nyc.gov/dot.