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High pressure! Board demanding long-awaited Flatbush Avenue footbridge • Brooklyn Paper

High pressure! Board demanding long-awaited Flatbush Avenue footbridge

No direction: Drivers had to navigate more than a dozen lanes jammed with other motorists when a traffic light malfunctioned on Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U on May 11 and no police came to direct traffic.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

They say it’s high time.

The city must build a footbridge over a heavily trafficked Flatbush intersection to keep shoppers from having to risk their lives to get inside the Kings Plaza Mall and other nearby stores, a local panel demanded this week, claiming a history of crashes at the intersection is the writing on the wall needed to get the byway built.

“We are going to try to convince them that it’s something that needs to be done and show them, provide them proof,” said board district manager Dorothy Turano, claiming a history of crashes at the intersection is reason enough to erect the span.

There have been 138 car crashes at the intersection since 2012, according to city records. Wrecks there have killed three and injured more than 40 since 2009, records show.

Local leaders are urging the city to build an elevated pedestrian overpass — similar to one over the West Side Highway connecting Stuyvesant High School and Borough of Manhattan Community College — on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U to extend to the other side of Flatbush, because the intersection is dangerous and nearly impossible to cross in just one traffic light change, Turano said.

“In order to cross Flatbush, you need to make it in two lights, for the elderly,” she said. “If you want to go over the street to Sleepy’s, you can’t.”

The board asked the city for the bridge in its annual budget request, and the transportation department said it would look into “whether the road system requires reconstruction.”

But the board is not asking for reconstruction, Turano said, frustrated that the city does not apparently pay attention to the community’s requests.

“Does anyone actually read preliminary budget requests?” Turano said. “You feel like you’re falling on deaf ears. We invite the agencies to walk our streets and drive our roads. Maybe then they would realize that a ‘study’ is not the answer — ‘action’ is required.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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