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PR- 422-05
November 14, 2005


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Transportation (DOT ) Commissioner Iris Weinshall today announced a series of traffic safety improvements along a 2.2 mile stretch of Atlantic Avenue, from Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn to Rockaway Boulevard in Queens. To improve pedestrian and motorist safety, wider medians will be installed along Atlantic Avenue, reducing the number of travel lanes from three to two. The nearly $18 million in improvements will slow traffic and provide larger and safer areas for pedestrians. Along the most heavily traversed section of Atlantic Avenue, between Pennsylvania Avenue and Logan Street, parking will be restricted heading westbound during the morning peak period and eastbound during the evening peak period, providing a third travel lane to accommodate rush hour traffic.

"Atlantic Avenue is one of New York's most important thoroughfares stretching from Southeast Queens to Downtown Brooklyn," said Mayor Bloomberg. "While traffic fatalities are at their lowest point in more than 95 years, some portions of Atlantic Avenue can be safer. These upgrades will calm traffic and improve pedestrian safety along a busy stretch of Atlantic Avenue through East New York, Highland Park and Cypress Hills. Larger medians and more signs will make crossing easier and safer and new traffic signals and left turn lanes will improve traffic flow and decrease congestion."

"By slowing traffic and providing a larger median for those of us who need a little more time to cross the street, this project will make Atlantic Avenue safer for pedestrians and motorists," said Commissioner Weinshall. "We are now moving into the final design stage and when we're done we'll see less speeding and fewer accidents along Atlantic Avenue."

The improvements, which are expected to cost $17.6 million, are based on recommendations made by the transportation consulting firm Gannett Fleming Engineers and Architects, which DOT hired in August 2004 to evaluate traffic conditions on Atlantic Avenue and create a plan to minimize traffic accidents.

Specific improvements include:

  • The median on Atlantic Avenue between Pennsylvania Avenue and Logan Street will be widened from 10 feet to 18 feet to slow traffic and provide a larger pedestrian crossing area.
  • A new 24-foot wide median will be installed on Atlantic Avenue between Pennsylvania and Rockaway Boulevard to slow traffic and provide a pedestrian refuge area.
  • Stop bars (horizontal painted lines that indicate an upcoming crosswalk) will be installed on all approaches to signalized intersections.
  • 11 inch steel faced concrete curbs will be installed on all new medians will replace worn curbing.
  • Pedestrian fencing will be installed at specific locations along the median to discourage mid-block crossing and increase pedestrian safety.
  • New traffic signals will be installed at three locations (Ashford Street, Essex Street and Logan Street.) along with secondary overhead signal heads to improve visibility for motorists.
  • Left turn lanes will be added at fourteen signalized intersections.
  • Parking will be restricted within 30 feet of selected intersections to increase pedestrian visibility.
  • Overhead mounted direction signs will be installed near the Atlantic Avenue and Conduit Avenue Interchange to better guide traffic.
  • Many additional location specific improvements will reduce pedestrian and vehicular conflicts and to enhance the flow of traffic.

Last month, the City announced a nearly $6 million project to upgrade the median on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. The project will return approximately 1,700 linear feet of landscaped median to public use to make the area safer for pedestrians. New street trees, lighting, signage and benches will be installed to the medians and Parkway. The median runs past Brooklyn's major cultural institutions, the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Brooklyn Public Library, and was narrowed and partially removed years ago.

In August, the City announced $71 million in Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funding to improve air quality, traffic congestion and safety across the City. Over the next four years the City will invest in Citywide Congested Corridors Mitigation, Pedestrian and Bicycle Network Development, Downtown Brooklyn Mobility improvements and a Private and City fleet Alternative Fuel Program.


Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958

Kay Sarlin   (Dept. of Transportation)
(212) 442-7033

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