FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG AND COMMISSIONER IRIS WEINSHALL ANNOUNCE $18 MILLION INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE ATLANTIC AVENUE TRAFFIC SAFETY
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:
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)
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