Safety zone area has key hole

A city study that could help senior pedestrians in East Flatbush has left off a strip of Remsen Avenue that has become a speedway.

Leonard Hoffman, a member of Community Board 17 and the former president of the Remsen Senior Center, said that excluding Remsen Avenue, as well as the intersection of Church and Ralph avenues, is a major deficiency in the Department of Transportation’s Safe Streets for Seniors program East Flatbush study area.

“We have racing going along Remsen Avenue,” Hoffman said. “It’s hazardous by the senior center [at Remsen and Avenue A].” The timing of the lights along the strip is also problematic. Hoffman said that a stop sign is desperately needed at Church and Ralph.

The city identified the study area — bounded by Linden Boulevard on the south; East 92nd Street, Rutland Road and East 96th Street on the east; East New York Avenue and Crown Street on the north; and Schenectady Avenue, Lefferts Avenue, East 49th Street, Lenox Road and East 45th Street on the west — by tracking pedestrian accidents involving the elderly.

Between 2001 and 2006 in the study area, there were 13 accidents in which elderly pedestrians were seriously injured, including one fatality, at the intersection of Clarkson and Utica avenues.

The results of the study are expected to be ready by next spring, said Montgomery Dean, a spokesman for the agency.

Among the improvements that will be considered, said Dean, are increasing crossing time, adding pedestrian refuge islands or curb extension to shorten the crossing distance, narrowing roadways to slow traffic down, revamping crosswalks so they are easier to see, and adding traffic signals or signs.

Citywide, seniors make up 11.8 percent of the city’s population, but a whopping 38.7 percent of pedestrian fatalities.

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