The New York State Department of Transportation has not yet acted on a plan that would make a Brooklyn intersection safer. Last year, residents of Kensington, in Brooklyn, advocated signing a petition on safety improvements at a dangerous intersection along Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway. Residents voted to allocate $200,000 to various upgrades aimed at making the intersection safer and helping to prevent pedestrian accidents.
Sadly, the New York State DOT has not reached a decision despite the availability of funding and strong feelings by the local community about the problem, which voted it a top priority in last year's budget.
The problem persists, adding to the list is a 73-year-old woman who was killed last week by a semi-truck in that problematic intersection. The trucker was cited for failure to exercise due care. In the wake of the elderly woman's death, the neighborhood was left sad and angry.
The intersection has been an ongoing concern for a long time. From 1995 to 2008, there were 36 pedestrians and cyclists injured as well as four fatalities. A report in March also concluded that pedestrian accidents are far too common in that area, calling it the most dangerous intersection in Brooklyn.
A proposal by the New York City DOT to build a pedestrian refuge island, which will give pedestrians a safe space when crossing the nine-lane street, was rejected by the state. Instead, the New York State DOT proposed to eliminate the crosswalk entirely despite its importance to local pedestrians in the area; the pedestrians will have to walk several blocks to cross to the other side of the street.
Residents find this unacceptable and local leaders are gathering press and petition signatures to force the state to resolve the issue and implement safety solutions in the intersection.
Pedestrian accidents can be deadly and should be looked at through more serious eyes. Each year, many pedestrians are hit by large vehicles. These incidents cause victims severe injuries that can also lead to death. Victims and their families should know their legal options for seeking financial compensation for any injuries and losses suffered.
Source: Brooklyn News Corp, "Brooklyn Residents Demand Safety Improvements at Ocean Parkway & Church Avenue Following Pedestrian Death," June 28, 2013