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DOT to Unveil Street Safety Upgrades for Kensington and Windsor Terrace

 Kensington and Windsor Terrace residents will meet with Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg about street safety.
DOT Commissioner to Meet With Residents on Street Safety
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WINDSOR TERRACE — Residents fed up with dangerous streets where 18-wheelers barrel past schoolkids are expected to get long-awaited answers about safety upgrades at a public meeting Thursday.

DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg is scheduled to meet with locals to unveil safety improvements for busy Caton Avenue and for the streets near P.S. 230 and P.S. 130, the agency said.

She's also expected to discuss plans for street safety around the new P.S./I.S. 437, opening this fall at Caton Avenue and East Seventh Street.

“What we want to hear are very specific actions that are going to be taken, and a timeline for when they’re going to happen, and we want the ability to weigh in before they do anything," said Beth Sutinis, a member of the KWT Safe Streets steering committee.

The grassroots group formed after 14-year-old Mohammad Naiem Uddin was killed by a hit-and-run driver on East Seventh Street and Caton Avenue.

The death added urgency to an issue that has concerned residents for years: The simple act of walking down the street feels dangerous in a neighborhood crisscrossed with major arterials such as Caton, McDonald, Church and Coney Island avenues and Ocean Parkway, they say.

Sutinis said she's hoping DOT will detail plans for a left turn lane onto East Seventh Street from Caton Avenue, as well as left turn lanes on Ocean Parkway where it veers toward Prospect Park. Advocates also want repainted lane markings and pedestrian crossings, and more speed limit signs to remind drivers of the new 25 mph limit.

Sutinis is hoping for a large turnout at Thursday's meeting to send a message to the DOT that the neighborhood is frustrated with the slow pace of safety improvements. She noted that parents at P.S. 230 have been asking for better signage near their school for more than a year.

Parents who feel the city has been slow to act flooded 311 with calls in December to demand safety upgrades around P.S. 230 and P.S. 130; the DOT said then that it was working to address those concerns, as well as come up with a plan for street safety around P.S./I.S. 437. Activists are also planning a rally and march later this winter.

"There's a decent amount of cynicism about what the DOT is going to do because we've been so disappointed in the past," Sutinis said. "I think we're going to have to raise a little hell to get it to happen."

Thursday's meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at P.S. 130, 70 Ocean Parkway. The meeting is open to the public, but City Councilman Brad Lander is accepting RSVPs on his website.