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Vision Zero: Mayor de Blasio Announces $39 Million in Immediate and Long-Term Safety Improvements for McGuinness Boulevard

June 11, 2021

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Hank Gutman today announced both immediate and long-term safety improvements to McGuinness Boulevard in Brooklyn, where teacher Matthew Jensen was recently killed in another instance of traffic violence. The City will fully redesign the corridor, including immediate safety enhancements and a full corridor redesign in 2022, with a commitment of $39 million in capital funding.

“Vision Zero has made New York City safer and more livable – but its work isn’t finished until corridors like McGuinness Boulevard are improved for everyone who uses them,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We can change this city’s streets for the better and forge a better Greenpoint for generations of Brooklynites to come.”

“These improvements to McGuinness Boulevard will make Brooklyn safer for all New Yorkers – and send a powerful message that New York City will stand against traffic violence,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Laura Anglin. “I look forward to working with the community to develop a bold, inclusive, and effective plan.”

“After the tragic loss of Matthew Jensen, we look forward to working with the people of Greenpoint to redouble our efforts to make McGuinness Boulevard safer for everyone who uses this critical corridor,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. “Saving lives and preventing injuries on our streets remains DOT’s top goal under Vision Zero, and fixing McGuinness will be among our very highest priorities this year. We thank the Mayor for his leadership, as well as Assembly Member Gallagher, Council Member Levin, and all the advocates – especially Families for Safe Streets – for all their organizing and hard work to expedite a comprehensive safety redesign.”

The City will assess and implement immediate upgrades in 2021, such as adding missing crosswalks, turn calming, and other safety treatments. These changes are expected to be complete by this fall.

Additionally, the City will engage the community on a full corridor redesign, supported with $39 million in capital funding. The redesign will offer changes such as protected bike lanes, shortened pedestrian crossings, and other proven safety enhancements. Community engagement and design coordination work will begin this summer, and the redesign will be implemented in 2022.

“The epidemic of traffic violence continues to take the lives of New Yorkers like Matthew Jensen,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Fortunately we have a cure in the form of traffic-calming infrastructure such as protected bike lanes, shorter crossing distances, and measures to reclaim street space for pedestrians. I thank Mayor de Blasio and DOT Commissioner Gutman for responding to this crisis along McGuinness Boulevard, and I urge them to continue the effort on other dangerous corridors throughout Brooklyn, and beyond.”

"The Mayor's historic investment will restore a basic right to our community: the freedom to cross the street without fear of death of injury. McGuinness Boulevard has long symbolized the deadly consequences of infrastructure that prioritizes speeding cars and trucks over human life. That changes now. I am so proud of this community for coming together in the aftermath of tragedy after tragedy to demand change. And I am grateful to our Mayor for truly listening. Let's get to work,” said Assembly Member Emily Gallagher.

"This commitment of $39 million to redesign McGuinness Blvd along with the immediate improvements and a timeline for the work to be done is welcome news and exactly what the community has asked for. We thank Mayor de Blasio for this commitment and acknowledge Assemblymember Gallagher for her years of advocacy. The community has been asking for this for years and looks forward to being fully engaged as the process moves forward. While we will remember the tragic loss of Matt Jensen forever moving forward with redesigning the roadway is a fitting tribute," says Council Member Stephen Levin.

"While we were greatly saddened by the tragic loss of our esteemed educator, Matthew Jensen. We are inspired by the quick hand of our mayor to address this issue and ensure that action is taken so that the residents and visitors to Community Board #1, Brooklyn remain safe in their travels,” said Dealice Fuller, Chair, Brooklyn Community Board 1.

"New York City made a lot of progress implementing Vision Zero in recent years, but we cannot slow down until every street is safe for bicyclists and pedestrians," said Liam Blank, a spokesman for Tri-State Transportation Campaign. "The pandemic made micro-mobility incredibly popular, and now the city's reopening is bringing a lot of vehicles into the mix, which is creating a really dangerous situation. We commend NYC DOT for restoring balance to the transportation network and putting an end to these completely preventable deaths."

"TA activists have been sounding the alarm about the dangerous conditions on McGuinness Boulevard for a decade. A $39 million plan to immediately begin safety improvements will go a long way to preventing crashes like the hit-and-run that killed Matthew Jensen. At a minimum, this plan must include a road diet, protected bike lanes, and improved crosswalks. We thank Mayor de Blasio for making a quick commitment for safety and we will work with him and the next administration to ensure McGuinness Boulevard gets the physical investment it needs and is no longer a death trap," said Danny Harris, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives.


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