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Safety Improvements Coming to Meeker Ave, Dept. of Transportation Says

By Gwynne Hogan | January 13, 2016 2:47pm
 The Department of Transportation is planning a redesign of Meeker Avenue near Union Avenue.
The Department of Transportation is planning a redesign of Meeker Avenue near Union Avenue.
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Department of Transportation

WILLIAMSBURG — A sweeping street redesign could be coming to a snarled section of Meeker Avenue where there have been a number of serious pedestrian injuries and deaths, the city's Department of Transportation said Tuesday.

The plan aims to redesign the section of the street that intersects Metropolitan and Union avenues, and North 6th, 7th and 8th streets with more crosswalks, larger curbs to protect pedestrians and decreased crossing distance, modified signal changes and by rerouting the Q59 bus, according to the DOT.

Since 2009, the DOT has recorded 50 driver injuries as well as 24 pedestrians and 16 cyclists in the few block radius. Eight of those injuries were serious or resulted in a fatality, according to the DOT.

The proposed plan does not account for bikers, a fact that was met with criticism when it was presented at a full meeting of Community Board 1 Tuesday. DOT spokespeople at the meeting said that cycling lanes weren't in the scope of the current project.

"We didn't want to put in a block of bike lanes then not connect to anything," said Terra Ishee from the DOT. "We wanted to learn more about what are we connecting to and where are we going."

The plan for Meeker Avenue is currently under public review and has to be approved by CB1.

And while the plan still leaves more to be desired, pedestrian advocate Becca Kaplan with Transportation Alternatives argued that the revamp of this highly trafficked location near the L and G train stops was better than the current condition on Meeker. 

"[We need to get] these changes on the street as fast as possible," she said.