BY JON CRONIN
As part of the Vision Zero plan, the City Department of Transportation experimented with a one-day community plaza on Wyckoff Avenue between Gates Avenue and Palmetto Street on Saturday.
The DOT points out that where Wyckoff Avenue and Palmetto Street meet is a dangerous six way intersection, which straddles the border of Brooklyn and Queens. Between 2009 and 2013, two pedestrians were killed during vehicular accidents. In September 2014, the DOT shortened the crosswalks and cut eliminated five possible turn options from the intersetion, although the DOT points out that the turns are made illegally in high numbers.
In 2014, a 60 year-old man was crossing from Wyckoff Avenue to Palmetto Street when he was struck and killed by the rear of an MTA bus. As a result the MTA rerouted B26 and Q58 via Ridgewood Place.
Another part of their pedestrian plaza proposal is to create a bus lane on Palmetto Street and have Palmetto Street become a bus lane only after the intersection. Another safety feature of the plaza would be safe passage of public transit users from the Myrtle and Wyckoff Avenues L and M subway station to the Ridgewood bus stop on Palmetto Street. The DOT points out that it is already a “defacto bus block” where buses layover and then continue to the terminal across the intersection. The removal of cars would end right turns onto Myrtle Avenue.
A spokesperson from the DOT stated, “The one-day demonstration pedestrian plaza event on Saturday was very well attended with hundreds of area residents taking part of the planned activities in conjunction with the Myrtle Avenue BID. “
The DOT reported that they conducted approximately 130 interviews during the one-day plaza regarding the proposal and 95 percent of those interviewed were in favor of the plan for a pedestrian plaza at the Wyckoff Avenue location.
The agency will continue outreach and dialogue with stakeholders and the community in a variety of settings in the coming weeks about this critical pedestrian safety project. The DOT will also present their proposal to Community Board 5 and Brooklyn’s Community Board 4 this spring.
For the complete proposal go to: www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/wyckoff-ave-public-workshop-mar2016.pdf
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin