Press Releases

Press Release #17-052
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
DOT: Scott Gastel/Lolita Avila, 212-839-4850
DDC: Dan Leibel, 718-391-1251

Vision Zero: NYC DOT, DDC, and CM Lander Celebrate the Reconstruction of Church Avenue in Kensington, Brooklyn

NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Keith Bray and NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio were joined by City Councilmember Brad Lander today to officially break ground on safety enhancements at the intersection of Church Avenue and McDonald Avenue. The work includes the installation of curb extensions, pedestrian ramps, and catch basins; replacement of the water main; and a complete pavement restoration. The project, funded by CM Lander through the Participatory Budgeting Process, will calm traffic and improve pedestrian walking space.

“As a direct response to Council Member Lander and the community, we are pleased to offer these new safety improvements to Church Avenue, one of Brooklyn’s busiest streets,” said Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Keith Bray. “As part of the Mayor’s Vision Zero efforts, we at DOT are working hard on traffic-engineering solutions that can prevent crashes. We thank Council Member Lander for being such a strong supporter of that life-saving work.”

“These necessary infrastructure upgrades will make Church Avenue smoother and more resilient,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “In keeping with Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, this project will offer pedestrians more walkable space and will calm vehicular traffic, ultimately making this roadway safer for New Yorkers.”

“The people of Kensington are choosing safer and more livable streets. One of our first 'participatory budgeting' projects was the pedestrian island at Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway. We worked together to make Caton Avenue dramatically safer. We've created the great new 'Avenue C Plaza' (at McDonald Avenue) and 'Kensington Plaza' (at Church Avenue and East 2nd Street), bringing new vitality to the neighborhood. The safety enhancements starting today at Church Avenue and McDonald Avenue will continue this progress. The project -- another participatory budgeting winner -- will calm traffic, improve traffic flow, and create safer pedestrian crossings at the crossroads of Kensington,” said Council Member Brad Lander.

The intersection of Church Avenue and McDonald Avenue is among the Borough’s top third high crash corridor—and has been the site of 21 traffic injuries from 2008-2012. Participatory Budgeting (PB) is an initiative that lets community members decide how to spend their own tax dollars on projects in their neighborhood. Residents of Kensington came together to present the Church Avenue and McDonald Avenue project in 2013 to allocate $300,000 of CM Lander’s budget toward the much needed safety enhancements.

PB has also seen other improvement projects in Kensington including the completed project at Church Avenue and the Prospect Expressway, in 2012, the first year of participatory budgeting. CM Lander allocated $200,000 to improve pedestrian safety by constructing a pedestrian island, along with road surface repair and new markings.

Other Funded PB projects:
  • During the third year of participatory budgeting, in 2014, CM Lander allocated $300,000 to improve pedestrian safety at McDonald Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway by extending sidewalks. Construction will begin in Fall 2019 and is estimated to be completed in Fall 2020.
  • In connection to the PB project at McDonald and Church Avenues, DOT will install a “hardened center line” by the end of July 2017 at the intersection of Church Avenue and Coney Island Avenue.

This project supports a broader effort to improve street safety in the Kensington and Windsor Terrace neighborhoods. The stretch of Caton Avenue from Ocean Parkway to Coney Island Avenue, near the PS 130 Upper School and MS 839, was recently redesigned with three new pedestrian islands, a new traffic signal, and curb extensions. Other street safety improvements near local schools include installation of a 20 mph “slow zone” at the PS 230 Upper and Lower Schools, improved signage and crossings at the PS 130 Lower School, and a new traffic signal at Bishop Ford. In addition, this summer a new bike lane will be installed near PS 154, on 10th and 11th Avenues, to calm traffic and improve street safety for school children. New speed humps on Albemarle Road and a reconfiguration of two intersections along Terrace Place have also contributed to improved traffic safety in the area.

As a part of a larger capital project, DOT and DDC will continue to work on the corridor of Church Avenue from Coney Island Avenue to Flatbush Ave. Along this 13-block stretch, more than 10 curb extensions will be implemented including the intersection of Church Avenue and St. Paul’s Place, the site of a fatal crash. The extended project will also include 2,540 linear feet of water main replacement, the installation of 3 manholes, 51 catch basins, and chute connections.

Curb extensions, also known as “neckdowns” calm traffic by making crosswalks more apparent, encouraging motorists to slow down and give the right away to pedestrians. The new installations will eliminate sidewalk crowding, provide additional waiting space, shorten crossing time, and increase pedestrian and motorist visibility. The project is expected to be completed in the Fall.