Church and Flatbush: accidents happen

It’s the unsweet 16.

The intersection of Church and Flatbush Avenues has seen 16 accidents thisyear, making it one of the most dangerous in the borough.

And the accidents are occurring despite the fact that the city has instituted traffic calming measures at the heavily utilized intersection.

According to studies conducted by the city’s Department of Transportation, and presented last May, traffic crawls through it on Church Avenue at a speed of under 5 mph at many hours of the day, thanks also to volume and double-parked vehicles — but accidents still happen.

To help solve the problem, the city has separated left, through and right-turn movements on Flatbush Avenue at Church to prevent turning vehicles from blocking traffic at the intersection. In addition, on Church Avenue, an eastbound right-turn lane onto Flatbush was added.

The changes have had a small effect: last year, in the same time period, there were 20, with a total of 76 at the intersection in all of 2009.

“I think the changes did work,” said Leithland “Rickie” Tulloch, a member of Community Board 17 who lives nearby. “I drive there everyday, and I think they are on the right track. They prevent some of the congestion. It might seem like traffic has slowed a little, but I think it gives people a clear, delineated lane to drive in.”

Nonetheless, says Mark Dicus, the executive director of the Church Avenue Business Improvement District, the intersection is still seriously in need of help.

“It’s a dangerous corner,” he said, calling it, “An extremely high-traffic location with a lot of aggressive driving, and people trying to jump lights.”

This, Dicus added, occurs despite the presence of the 70th Precinct.

“There’s been a consistent amount of enforcement but it still continues to be dangerous,” he said.

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