A plan to make Canarsie streets safer is speeding along.
Local civic gurus gave the city their blessing last week to overhaul a problematic Canarsie street corner.
Community Board 18 voted unanimously to approve a plan for the redesign of Seaview Avenue and E. 80th Street – a problematic intersection plagued with safety hazards and where 10 injuries have occurred in recent years, said a Department of Transportation official.
“The DOT has identified several safety issues with this intersection,” said Project Manager Lauren Martin. “There are many factors that create really dangerous conditions.”
The Department sought the community board’s permission to address the intersection’s troublesome features, including overly wide roadways and inadequate traffic signals.
“With those really wide roadways, you not only have people crossing these really long distances, but it also promotes speeding,” said Martin. “We also have a multi-lane, all-way stop, where there aren’t designated directions for each lane, which creates a ton of confusion.”
To alleviate the speeding concerns, the department proposed reducing both roads to one lane each for a block prior to the intersection, and replacing the former lane with back-in, vertical parking.
The Department also proposed adding pedestrian walkways to the intersection, which borders Canarsie Park, according to Martin.
“There are several missing crossings here. There are plenty of entrances to the park, but no way to cross to get to them,” she said. “So, it is part of DOT’s mission to fill in these gaps, and to focus on allowing people to get to the park safely.”
The plan would also include expanding the sidewalk further into the street, allowing for shorter crossing distances.
“In order to make these crosswalks safe, and a shorter distance, we are proposing to realign the curb, by building painted pedestrian stations,” said Martin.
The community board, at its April 17 meeting, opted to give their approval for the plan, which is slated to begin construction in the coming months.
“Overall, the benefits are clarifying vehicular movements, reduce speeding, calming the traffic, and creating safer, shorter, pedestrian crossings,” said Martin.