Press Releases

Press Release #15-094

Scott Gastel/Jose Bayona (212) 839-4850

NYC DOT Unveils New Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Improvements at Rockaway Parkway Outside the Brooklyn Ascend Lower Charter School

Hundreds of families from the charter school and New Yorkers will benefit of the new mid-block, signalized crosswalk with a concrete pedestrian refuge island, amongst other safety improvements

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, elected officials, school and community leaders today unveiled new traffic and pedestrian safety improvements completed at Rockaway Parkway from Winthrop Street to Clarkson Avenue in Brooklyn outside the Brooklyn Ascend Lower Charter School. The 775 foot-long and 75 foot-wide stretch contains two traffic moving lanes, parking, a bike lane in each direction, an MTA bus route, and is located within a Vision Zero Priority Area.

From 2009-2013, this block had 18 pedestrian injuries resulting from traffic crashes, with 1 being severe, and a mid-block pedestrian fatality in November 2014.

“School safety is a top priority for DOT, and I am delighted to be back at the Brooklyn Lower Ascend Charter School in Brooklyn today to unveil a much needed traffic and pedestrian safety improvements,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “The new midblock pedestrian safety median, traffic signal, and crosswalk right outside the charter school will significantly help parents and their children travel safely between home and school.”

“The foundation of One Brooklyn is built on safety,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Deputy Borough President Reyna and I are focused on finding ways to advance the safety of every Brooklynite, especially our most vulnerable. And today, as a result of tireless advocacy by parents, students, administrators and elected officials, we are opening up a mid-block safe street crossing for over 700 young students and their families in East Flatbush. It is essential that all intersections are safe and, by installing this traffic calming measure, the community will benefit.”

“Beginning this week we open our doors again to over 700 eager students in grades K-4; their safety, and the safety of their families, is paramount. This brand new mid-block crossing and center median is an enormous improvement over the chaotic traffic situation that existed previously on Rockaway Parkway in front of our school.  Our students can now arrive at school safely, all set for the intellectually rigorous and joyful instruction they receive at Brooklyn Ascend Charter School,” said Steven F. Wilson, founder and chief executive officer of Ascend Learning. “We applaud the Mayor de Blasio Administration for its focused leadership on Vision Zero, and for dedicating the necessary resources to keep our children and communities safe from preventable traffic collisions.

The Brooklyn Ascend Lower Charter School requested safety improvements for this area in 2014. They were concerned with the high number of illegal U-turns committed daily, speeding vehicles, and families crossing mid-block to reach the school.  It was estimated by the school that nearly 30 to 40 illegal U-turns were made daily in front of the school.

As part of the project, DOT installed traffic delineators to deter illegal U-turns, a new mid-block concrete pedestrian island, high visibility school crosswalks, a new traffic signal, and implemented a 20 MPH School Slow Zone. It is estimated by the charter school that hundreds of  local families and New Yorkers will benefit in the morning and in the afternoon, five days a week from the new mid-block, signalized crosswalk with a concrete pedestrian refuge island.

DOT announced the Vision Zero Borough Pedestrian Safety Plan for Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Ascend Lower Charter School in February this year.
For more information about DOT and other safety projects, please visit

NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, elected officials and school and community leaders unveil traffic and pedestrian improvements at Rockaway Parkway outside the Brooklyn Ascend Lower Charter School in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

DOT installed a new mid-block concrete pedestrian island, a new traffic signal, and implemented a 20 MPH School Slow Zone