The city has found a triangular solution to the traffic problems on Flatbush Avenue from Atlantic Avenue to Grand Army Plaza.
Transportation officials say the perilous stretch — treated like a raceway by drivers — will be safer once four three-sided islands are expanded and converted into plazas with seating and trees.
“It’s a safety enhancement,” said Craig Hammerman, the district manager of Communiity Board 6, which hosted a presentation on the project last Tuesday. “And more pedestrians in the area will mean more visiting and shopping on Flatbush Avenue.”
The eight-block stretch has been under the spotlight for years, but the need for a traffic-calming fix was highlighted in February when a pedestrian was killed in a hit and run accident.
The crash led to the elimination of some left turns, but traffic speeds have not diminished.
The expanded plazas at Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Carlton avenues are another attempt to reduce the sketchy situation by giving pedestrians wider side- and crosswalks.
Sharon Davidson, the executive director for the North Flatbush Business Improvement District, said that the expanded triangles would force turning drivers to slow down. Plus, the spaces will be more inviting.
“There will be tables and chairs, more trees and new benches — it will be more plaza-like,” said Davidson, citing a similar plaza at Ninth Avenue and 14th Street in Manhattan, a neighboring city.
Even solar-powered trash compactors will be installed along Flatbush Avenue as part of the $2.7-million project.
The Department of Transportation expects to finish the project in 18 months.
©2010 Community News Group
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