This Washington crossing needs Gen. Jeff!

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Jeff Sherman has been hit by a car at the intersection of Washington and Atlantic avenues for the last time!

The Prospect Heights resident is so angry about the death trap five-way intersection — where two people have been killed and 45 cars crashed in just three years — that he’s redesigned the troubled spoke.

And city officials are taking notice — agreeing to meet with Sherman and the local councilwoman to fix the problem.

Sherman is calling for the city to extend the curbs at all five corners, and install car-stopping bollards in the medians on Atlantic Avenue, where Underhill and Washington avenues intersect.

“The turning cars seem the most reckless — they don’t pay much attention to pedestrians,” said Sherman, who lives on Pacific Street nearby. “The ones speeding by on Atlantic Avenue are pretty scary, too.”

Sherman, who isn’t a traffic engineer, but an architect, was even clipped by a turning car while riding his bike at the intersection. Cyclists aren’t the only ones having trouble. The route is popular with city- or BQE–bound drivers avoiding congestion on Flatbush Avenue. And pedestrians spill across the intersection after leaving the C train at the Clinton-Washington stop one block away.

Sherman has a fan in Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene), who has gotten the Department of Transportation to agree to meet residents on Nov. 17 to discuss the issue.

“You basically take your life into your own hands,” said James. “I’m really concerned for seniors, there is a senior complex [nearby].”

James and others also pointed to the problematic pedestrian signals, which give pedestrians a walk sign for mere seconds before changing to the dreaded flashing red hand.

Sherman, who has lived near the intersection for 10 years, said he’s seen the traffic light on the median at Atlantic Avenue be knocked down by an out of control driver twice.

And the dangerous intersection claimed a life just last month, when a cyclist was doored into the path of a turning B45 bus.

Statistics reinforce the anecdotal evidence.

According to, 13 pedestrians and 16 cyclists were involved in accidents between 1995 and 2005. From 2006 to 2009 there were five pedestrian and five cyclist injuries, and two fatalities and 45 reported car crashes at the intersection during the same times span, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Sherman is also circulating a petition in favor of improving safety at the intersection, but James says she doesn’t want to wait.

“The walk signal could be extended immediately,” she said.

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Reasonable discourse

Kate from Prospect Heights says:
Looking forward to these improvements! Thanks, Jeff! We need to also get rid of that northbound right turn lane on Washington. It is lightly used, adds another pedestrian crossing to the intersection, and cars barely slow down when making that turn while pedestrians are crossing in front of them. Make them wait at the light like everyone else.
Nov. 1, 2010, 9:33 am
JudahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:
“You basically take your life into your own hands,” said James. “I’m really concerned for seniors, there is a senior complex [nearby].”

Notice the bid for emotional response. Even when you are doing something worthy, you are campaigning. What you need to do is get the Carlton Ave bridge restored.
Where have your anti arena passion gone? The arena is happening, so how about using some of that passion to help make the situation livable?
Nov. 1, 2010, 10:51 am
Dave from Clinton Hill says:
Thank you Jeff, this will be greatly appreciated by so many if these improvements go through, I live on Wash. Ave and that intersection is a nightmare.
Nov. 1, 2010, 12:53 pm
Eric McClure from Park Slope says:
Way to go, Jeff! Kudos for your efforts to make these streets safer for everyone.
Nov. 2, 2010, 9:55 pm

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