PROSPECT-LEFFERTS GARDENS — New traffic rules and a crosswalk pedestrian island are coming to one of the neighborhood’s busiest intersections, according to a safety plan proposed by the Department of Transportation this week.
In a proposal presented to Community Board 9’s transportation committee Tuesday night, the DOT laid out a plan to improve safety at the intersection of Parkside and Ocean avenues in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, two busy streets complicated by the adjacent Q train station and entrance to Prospect Park.
As part of the citywide Vision Zero pedestrian safety effort, the agency hopes to install a new pedestrian island on the north side of the intersection on Ocean Avenue, which would eliminate the left turn from that street onto eastbound Parkside Avenue. In addition, the plan calls for a second left turn ban from westbound Parkside to southbound Ocean.
The DOT hopes the two traffic changes and new concrete island will encourage more careful turns by drivers into a crosswalk often filled with park-goers and commuters, according to their proposal.
This is not the first time the city has made traffic improvements to Ocean and Parkside avenues. In 2012, the DOT changed turning patterns, widened crosswalks and closed off the Prospect Park entrance to bikes and pedestrians only, resulting in an 88 percent drop in injuries to motor vehicle occupants, the agency said. The rate of injury to pedestrians, however, did not significantly change.
Between 2009 and 2013, 102 people were injured at the intersection in total, including 22 pedestrians, according the city’s data.
In 68 percent of crashes involving pedestrians during the same time period, the victim had been walking with the signal at the time of the accident — a rate 28 percent higher than in the rest of the borough, the DOT said.
Though many attendees of Tuesday night's presentation approved of the new traffic plan, the safety measures at the intersection will only be implemented with full approval by Community Board 9. The full board will consider the proposal at its monthly meeting next Tuesday, June 23, at 7 p.m. at 260 Eastern Parkway.