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Neighbors: State refuses to make Ocean Parkway death trap safer

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They want a new Ocean Parkway plan.

Kensington residents demanded that the state Department of Transportation make long-overdue safety improvements to the dangerous intersection of Ocean Parkway and Church Avenue where a 73-year-old woman was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer last week.

Steps away from where Ngozi Agbim was run over, residents and safety advocates joined by Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) rallied on Friday for a safer intersection. Lander launched a petition that day calling on the state agency to spend the money that has already been allocated to make the intersection more pedestrian-friendly by installing a median along the wide crosswalk.

That plan, which residents said could have saved Agbim’s life, was rejected the state, and the money has not been spent, said the councilman.

“The community has long known that this intersection needs to be made safer,” Lander said.

Agbim, of Buckingham Road, was walking east on Church Avenue at 9:40 am on June 24. As she attempted to cross the nine-lane intersection where Ocean Parkway meets the Prospect Expressway, she was hit by a truck turning right onto Prospect from Church Avenue. Agbim died at the scene, police said.

Family members of Agbim joined the rally, demanding that safety measures for the intersection be implemented in their dead relative’s name.

“Her death is now a beacon – a rallying point for change,” said Agbim’s brother-in-law Eugene Agbimson.

Safety upgrades for the intersection at Ocean Parkway and Church Avenue was a winner in Lander’s “participat­ory budgeting process” — which gives citizens the chance to choose how to spend $1 million in taxpayer funds by voting on a series of public improvement projects in their districts — last year.

Lander allocated $200,000 for the safety measures.

“We did review the proposed improvements of the intersection, and we found that they would not improve the safety of the intersecti­on,” said state Transportation spokesman Adam Levine. He added that a new safety project for the intersection is in the works.

Lander said the state has proposed eliminating the crosswalk entirely, which he says would make the thoroughfare even more dangerous.

“We’ve been going back offering recommendations on the plan,” said Levine. “Some of which have not been approved by the city and we are working on resolving everyone’s issues.”

Tri-State Transportation Campaign designated Ocean Parkway as the borough’s most dangerous roadway for pedestrians in a study last year, because motorists killed six people on the boulevard between 2009 and 2011. Four people were killed and 36 pedestrians and cyclists were injured at the Ocean Parkway and Church Avenue intersection between 1995 and 2008, according to statistics provided by the anti-car groupTransportation Alternatives.

Residents who are afraid to cross the treacherous intersection said that a safety solution is absolutely necessary.

“My family and I cross that intersection daily,” said Arlette Mathis of Kensington. “We fear crossing because even with the signage, drivers speed onto the Prospect Expressway and seldom yield to pedestrians.”

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at nmusumeci@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at twitter.com/souleddout.

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Reasonable discourse

Pooter from Crabby Island says:
It wouldn't be much Of a "death trap" if no one died.

The level Of hyperbole in this paper's writting style is painful, and frankly embarassing.
July 2, 2013, 4:05 am
mrtuffguy from Kensington says:
"The level Of hyperbole in this paper's writting style is painful, and frankly embarassing."

That's what you take away from this article? Yet another person needlessly dies on Ocean Parkway and the state refuses to fix the condition and you are upset by the caption "Death Trap"?

Strange priorities...
July 2, 2013, 10:32 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
There are ways to make that intersection that would not only cost less, but wouldn't cause any inconveniences either. The truth is that traffic calming really does more harm than good especially in the long run. Some of those who got hit were actually jaywalking, but the anti-car crowd always tends to turn a blind eye to that despite the fact that someone placed themselves into harm's way to begin with. The million dollars to spend could be used better on something more important such as saving public schools and hospitals rather than on another of Bloomberg's pet projects.
July 2, 2013, 7:47 pm
Steven P Mitchell from Suffolk County, NY says:
This crossing has been a danger for years. I used to drive a yellow medallion taxi in the 1980s and it was a significant danger back then. It is amazing that they have never solved this problem in 30 years.
July 3, 2013, 9:14 am
ty from pps says:
Seriously, Tal.... Do you just cut-and-paste the same stupid things over and over? There was no "traffic calming" proposed here. No road diets or anything of this sort. It was the installation of improved pedestrian facilities.

Forget it. You're too stupid.
July 3, 2013, 3:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Seeing that the stats are provided by Transportation Alternatives, who has a history of having an anti-car bias, I do tend question if those are truly accurate or just another excuse to make us motorists miserable even more.
July 3, 2013, 4 pm
ty from pps says:
Why are you so stupid, Tal?
July 3, 2013, 4:34 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Why can't you lay off the personal attacks, ty?
July 3, 2013, 5:29 pm
ty from pps says:
Because you're stupid?
July 3, 2013, 8:09 pm
bkdude65 says:
lol
July 3, 2013, 10:52 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tay

Ty's is correct. Shut up and go away.
July 5, 2013, 5:53 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
It looks like the haters got to hate. BTW, if the state DOT is being involved, so am I since it's my tax dollars as well. There are better solutions to traffic calming and that is fixing the timing of the lights along with enforcing everyone to follow the laws, not just a select group only. On a side note, data can be fudged, and I have a feeling that Transportation Alternatives did just that as a way to get their agenda across. Also, if any of you have nothing nice to say, just say nothing at all and keep your egos to yourselves.
July 5, 2013, 3:11 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal

How to you fix the timing of the lights on a two way street? HOW TAL???

and If you think it is ok for you to tell us how to make our roads safer because it's you tax money funding the DOT, then it must be ok for me to tell you what to eat because it is my tax money funding your sewage treatment plant. Chew you food Tal,
July 5, 2013, 9:16 pm

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