City proposes safety fixes to deadly Kensington intersection months after latest fatal crash

City proposes safety fixes to deadly Kensington intersection months after latest fatal crash
Department of Transportation

The city revealed a long-awaited plan to improve safety at a treacherous Kensington intersection where two drivers fatally hit pedestrians in the last five years.

Department of Transportation officials on Nov. 19 proposed making several changes to the intersection at Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway — a massive nine-lane crossing where the parkway meets the Prospect Expressway — roughly seven months after they promised to study the perilous juncture following a deadly February crash when a box-truck driver struck and killed a man as the motorist turned right from Church Avenue onto the expressway.

Agency leaders want to make several tweaks to the intersection where Borough Park– and Flatbush-bound drivers on Church Avenue cut across nine lanes of traffic — the one-lane, Windsor Terrace–bound Ocean Parkway Service Road; the Prospect Expressway’s three Windsor Terrace–bound lanes; Ocean Parkway’s three Midwood-bound lanes; and the two-lane Midwood–bound Ocean Parkway Service Road — that include:

• Enlarging the current pedestrian islands along Church Avenue between the service roads and the expressway.

• Painting a curb extension where the 18th Avenue–bound Ocean Parkway Service Road meets Church Avenue, in order to slow down cars turning onto Church Avenue from the service road.

• Removing the left-turn lane onto Ocean Parkway from the three-lane, Borough Park–bound side of Church Avenue, and installing a barrier called a “qwick curb” between the remaining two lanes that would only allow drivers in the lane closest to the Windsor Terrace–bound Prospect Expressway to turn onto it.

• Extending pedestrian-crossing signals across the nine lane intersection by five seconds, giving locals a total of 15 seconds to traverse the juncture.

• Installing additional signage to direct motorists exiting the expressway in the area.

The latest suite of enhancements will follow earlier upgrades — including the construction of the pedestrian islands on Church Avenue and the installation of turn signals for motorists at the intersection — made in 2013 after a tractor-trailer driver fatally smashed into a 73-year-old crossing the up to 190-foot-long juncture, where a whopping 103 others have been injured between 2012 and 2016, according to the city.

Officials hope to start working on the changes as soon as next spring, as soon as the weather warms up, they said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.