Hard to believe, but it's been three years since the DOT heard our call and made some fairly effective, but not effective enough, changes at the ever-nuts intersection of Parkside and Ocean Avenues. You know, right at our beloved Q Plaza? Right at the entrance to the Park?
It may surprise newcomers, but it used to be even worse. One of the best fixes was to close the entrance to the park to vehicles, followed by making the intersection much smaller with those cones and lines to guide cars to where they need to go. The chancges with the pedestrian lights have slowed traffic a bit, but it's still up to the walkers to alert cars that they're there. I often raise my hand to alert drivers with poor sight-lines. You know what I'm talking about. Even after you get the hang of the weirdness of having to wait to cross from the Q to the Park, even though the red has stopped traffic going south, you have to wait for speeders rounding the bend. And then, of course, they get to keep coming while you step out into the street. And forget about going from the Park south, even when the dedicated green arrow is happening, which always surprises me still after three years of walking or riding it. Plus, there's absolutely NO acknowledgment that tons of bikes come in and out at an angle. And the occasional vehicle.
So. DOT came back Tuesday evening to the Transportation Committee at CB9 to suggest a few more improvements, all of which passed committee and will hopefully get the greenlight at the full Board meeting next Tuesday. I say hopefully, because many Board members are car zealots. Like many New Yorkers, some on the Board feel that cars and parking are always the losers in any changes taking place, from DOT to residential development to bike lanes etc. Last year they voted down two sensible fixes that would have aided pedestrians and bicycles, while not hindering traffic in the slightest. It was quite shameful really.
So, I encourage you all to come out on Tuesday at the School for the Deaf (insert CB9 joke at the expense of deaf people here) near the Brooklyn Museum for the full Board meeting to voice your support. Here's the pic of changes from the DOT, which includes better signal management and a pedestrian median on Ocean. (Apparently there isn't room on the Parkside corner).
I'll continue to lobby for a full stop for ALL cars to allow pedestrians a cycle to walk in all directions. To my mind, this is an entrance to the Park, not a commuter speedway. DOT claims they can't do it, since it will snarl traffic. Yes, we must help traffic flow best it can. But let's be honest, there'll just be more and more cars as time ticks forward. And pedestrians too. It's time to give walkers and bikers a fighting chance to survive one of the most frustrating intersections in the whole borough.
So call the CB9 office ahead of time at 718-778-9279, or email Pearl Miles firstname.lastname@example.org for a 3 minute spot to speak up.
The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.