It’s the new Gold standard.
The city on Wednesday unveiled changes to a treacherous Downtown stretch of Gold Street that runs through the Farragut Houses — eliminating a lane of traffic in each direction, adding a new crosswalk, and expanding the median in a scheme that a Department of Transportation honcho hopes will force drivers to slow down and allow the residents to traverse the thoroughfare more safely and easily.
“Residents of the Farragut Houses needed and deserved a safe pedestrian route among their buildings and the subway, so the dramatic changes on Gold Street will make a real difference,” said the department’s Borough Commissioner Keith Bray.
The public housing complex is spread across sprawling superblocks, and the strip between York and Sands streets previously only had crosswalks at each intersection, which meant pedestrians who didn’t fancy the long trek to the corner often jaywalked as traffic zoomed by in two lanes from both directions.
Collisions along the stretch injured seven pedestrians, five cyclists, and seven car occupants between 2010 and 2014, according to the department.
Now, pedestrians can use the new mid-block crosswalk, and stop at the larger median strip — extended from three to eight feet — if they need a breather part-way through the journey. The city also added 21 new parking spaces alongside the median for nights and weekends.
Transportation planners drew up the changes after consulting with Farragut Houses denizens, according to Community Board 2 district manager Rob Perris.
They then presented it to the advisory panel in February and received overwhelming support, he said, with members voting unanimously to approve the measures.