With an average of 46 casualties each year, Brooklyn is home to the highest number of pedestrian deaths throughout the city.
As in each of the borough plans, which the DOT unveiled in a media blitz last week, the DOT utilized crash data and community input to pinpoint areas with the highest incidence of injury and fatality in a per-mile basis, ultimately focusing on 49 priority corridors and 91 priority intersections throughout the borough.
“We heard from thousands of Brooklynites about the things they were interested in,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, of the Vision Zero town halls, public workshops and online surveys from which information on potential priority areas was gathered. “The borough plans are really going to help us tackle roadway safety in a very groundbreaking way.
It’s data-driven, it’s transparent, it’s participatory,” she added.
A handful of neighborhoods represented the majority of the borough’s casualties, with the highest concentrations falling in Sunset Park, Bushwick, Brownsville and Crown Heights, and along large arterial streets like Atlantic Avenue.
All in all, the areas identified made up only 9 percent of Brooklyn’s streets, but were host to 50 percent of its fatalities and injuries, said Ryan Russo, deputy commissioner of the Division of Traffic Planning and Management.
Flatbush Avenue from Fulton Street to Grand Army Plaza was deemed the borough’s most dangerous street, with Utica Avenue and Eastern Parkway identified as the most dangerous intersection.
The planned improvements for the high-risk areas include allotting pedestrians more time to cross streets - called exclusive pedestrian crossing time - redesigning signal plans and deploying more security cameras, among other initiatives.
Under the plan, 50 safety-engineering improvements will be made throughout all five boroughs annually, with 12 allocated for Brooklyn in the coming year. In the long-term, DOT aims to add or expand exclusive pedestrian crossing times and modify signals on all Brooklyn priority intersections where modifications are feasible by 2017.
“One of the things I find to be so aggravating is reading about someone who lost their life in an accident that didn’t have to happen,” said Councilman Alan Maisel at a press conference in Brownsville last week. “People should be able to live their lives without the fear of having to traverse a dangerous intersection.”