BROOKLYN — New medians, more crosswalks and fewer high-volume turns are in the works at one of the borough's most dangerous intersections, the Department of Transportation said.
In its first official unveiling of safety changes at Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, the agency presented its plan focusing on the busy two-block area adjacent to Atlantic Terminal and the Barclays Center where five people have been killed since 2008, according to the DOT.
The biggest alteration is new medians to be installed at each branch of the Atlantic and Flatbush crossing. The pedestrian islands would serve a dual purpose: to give walkers a place to land if they don’t make it across the busy intersection, and to slow down drivers making turns.
A large center median is also planned on Flatbush Avenue between Lafayette Avenue and State Street, similar to those seen on the avenue farther north, near DeKalb Avenue, the DOT said.
A safety plan proposal by the DOT at Atlantic and Flatbush avenues includes new medians, fewer double turns and larger crosswalks. See the complete proposal here.
The Flatbush-Atlantic crossing is among the most dangerous intersections in Brooklyn, with injury and fatality statistics in the top 10 percent in the borough, the DOT said.
As of June 30, the crossing and its surrounding two-block area has seen 16 injuries so far this year, according to agency data.
Pedestrians are in particular danger, the agency said. More than half of crashes involving pedestrians there took place when the walker had the right-of-way, according to DOT data.
More pedestrian-friendly infrastructure is included in the plan, including several curb extensions and the closure of two underutilized turning roads between Flatbush Avenue and Schermerhorn Street to transform them into pedestrian areas.
The plan also calls for a raised crosswalk at the corner of Ashland and Hanson places, directly in front of the iconic Williamsburgh Savings Bank tower.
The transportation department has been developing the safety plan for months as part of the citywide Vision Zero pedestrian safety initiative, though the project's details are not set in stone.
At the plan presentation Wednesday night, the DOT followed up the proposal unveiling with an hour-long workshop with residents, taking suggestions for improvements and changes.
“Right now, this is just a proposal. We’re here to talk to you guys,” said Rich Carmona of the DOT, who presented the plan.
Other features of the proposal include reducing double turn lanes from Atlantic Avenue to Flatbush Avenue, which would limit the volume of cars turnings into crosswalks.
Two new crosswalks would be added across Flatbush Avenue, as well: at Pacific Street, directly perpendicular to the Barclays Center, and at State Street, where a new crossing and traffic light would be installed.
Attendees at Wednesday night’s DOT presentation — a group of approximately 75 residents and stakeholders that included Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon and state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery — responded well to the proposal, with many residents thanking the agency for their attention to the unsafe intersection.
In giving feedback on the plan, attendees made many suggestions for improvements, including multiple requests for a southbound bicycle connection from Ashland Place to Fourth Avenue, and the inclusion of planters and greenery in the proposed mid-lane medians.
Others suggested the DOT consider the effect of major new developments on the intersection — including a 1.5-million-square-foot tower that may be built on the intersection and a new residential tower now under construction on Ashland Place.
“Any plan the DOT has cannot be separated from all the development,” said Fort Greene resident Lucy Koteen.
DOT said it will use the information gathered Wednesday to create a “comprehensive plan” for the intersection, to be presented formally to local community boards in the future.
To see the complete DOT proposal for Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, click here.