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Walk on the mild side: City plan will make Rockaway Parkway safer for pedestrians, panel says

On an island!: The city plans to install pedestrian-firendly medians and left-turn lanes at every intersection on Rockaway Parkway between Avenue N and Flatlands Avenue.
Brooklyn Daily
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This plan really has legs!

Residents applauded the city’s proposal to build pedestrian-friendly medians on Rockaway Parkway during a Community Board 18 meeting on April 20. Similar roadway-improvement schemes have riled folks in Sheepshead Bay and Sunset Park, but the board voted unanimously in favor of the plan, which will make it drastically easier for walkers to cross the busy street without fear of getting hit by a speeding car, a board honcho said.

“That happens to be an excellent idea,” said district manager Dorothy Turano. “The islands are a great idea. [Crossing the street] is a safety hazard.”

The Department of Transportation aims to build medians where people can take a break while hoofing it across the parkway at every intersection between Flatlands Avenue and Avenue N.

The less-than-a-mile-long stretch of roadway is one of the 10 worst corridors for pedestrians in Brooklyn, officials said. A total 63 walkers were hurt in traffic crashes there between 2010 and 2014 — including 8 severe injuries and two fatalities.

Drivers are prone to speed on the corridor’s long blocks and wide roadways, so any type of safety improvements will go a long way, said Turano.

“This is a far cry from what we have,” she said.

Officials plan to start construction this summer and wrap up by the fall, but the work shouldn’t affect drivers, a spokesman said.

“We expect minimal impacts to traffic as a result of the constructi­on,” he said.

Other improvement slated include:

• Creating left-turn only lanes on the parkway between avenues J and N

• Re-jiggering street lights so walkers can begin crossing while all cars are stopped

• Re-painting crosswalks

• Installing a parking lane stripe along the corridor

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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