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Transportation buff: Replace treacherous Times Plaza with roundabout

Roundabout way: A transit architect said a roundabout would solve the “strange geometries” at the intersections of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.
Brooklyn Paper
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This is some circular logic!

The city should fix the notoriously dangerous nexus at Flatbush, Atlantic, and Fourth avenues by turning the intersection into a roundabout, says a local transportation expert. Officials are trying to make some safety tweaks to Times Plaza — the awkward triangular pedestrian island at the heart of the havoc — but this ring-leader says the best answer is to go full circle.

“That’s what roundabouts are for — they resolve strange geometries,” said Jonathan Cohn, a transportation architect at Perkins Eastman, who also lives a few blocks away in Park Slope. “This is a situation that calls for thinking outside the box.”

Department of Transportation officials are in the midst of redesigning Times Plaza — and the crossings around it — following years of complaints by residents and pols, and Cohn and several supporters made their pitch at a community workshop on Wednesday night.

Their revolutionary idea is to turn the plaza into a circle and extend curbs out at each corner to create a European-style roundabout.

Pedestrians could shuffle around what would become short crosswalks over each street or, in one configuration, cross into the center of the roundabout and exit in any direction they please, Cohn said.

“If you could go out to the circle, then you could go straight to where you are going, you wouldn’t have to cross more than two times,” he said.

The junction is one of the most dangerous intersections in Brooklyn — between 2010–2014, motorists injured 78 pedestrians and cyclists there, killing or seriously hurting 13 of them, according to city records. Around half of pedestrians mowed down by vehicles were crossing with a green light.

It is even more perilous for drivers — car crashes injured 289 motorists in the same period, killing or seriously injuring 12.

Cohn and his fellow lords of the ring say the traffic-calming measure will make the crossroads far less hairy by forcing drivers to slow down and eliminating left turns.

“It slows traffic because they have to slow down to go around it and there are no left turns, so they all spur off,” said Park Sloper Michael Cairl, a longtime member of local civic group the Park Slope Civic Council. “Pedestrians only have to look in one direction for oncoming traffic.”

And they have data to back up their argument — a well-placed roundabout can cut vehicle collisions at a single intersection down by almost half, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

But transportation honchos didn’t come a-round to the idea — they are considering roundabouts elsewhere in the city, a department spokeswoman said after the workshop, but don’t think one is feasible at Times Plaza because there isn’t enough room.

But Cohn disagrees — he believes the city could “take a bit” off the block currently housing a PC Richard and Son electronic store on Flatbush Avenue, which developer Greenland Forest City Partners already plans to tear down and replace with an office tower as part of its Pacific Park megadevelopment.

The agency has its own proposal for the plaza and the surrounding streets, which officials revealed at the meeting — including installing pedestrian islands in the middle of each thoroughfare for people who get stuck crossing, widening sidewalks and extending curbs to shorten the passage across streets, and adding two new crosswalks on Flatbush Avenue.

About two dozen locals also shared their suggestions, which included turning the intersection of Flatbush and Fourth avenues into a “Barnes Dance” crossing — where signals stop traffic in all directions to allow pedestrians to cross an intersection any which way.

There is still no schedule for the actual construction, but the agency will next take its proposal to relevant community boards.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Slope says:
A roundabout here would be great. Much safer for locals crossing the street.
Aug. 5, 2016, 9:25 am
Eric McClure from Park Slope says:
This is a really intriguing idea. NYC DOT should take a real hard look at it.
Aug. 5, 2016, 9:54 am
TOM from SUNSET PARK says:
Too much traffic volume. Once it hits a certain level you must curtail flow with signals. That means worse gridlock. See GAP, Barthel Pritchard Sq, Columbus Circle. They have less volume but signals impede flow, introduce gridlock. Roundabouts, rotaries, traffic circles rely on yield signs and driver compliance. That works. Drivers are really good at it.
Aug. 5, 2016, 10:30 am
Robert Perris from Community Board 2 says:
Years ago, as part of the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project, engineering firm Arup suggested a counter-clockwise 'super-rotary.' Under the scheme, all lanes of traffic would travel south on 3rd Avenue, east on Atlantic, north of 4th and west on Flatbush.
Aug. 5, 2016, 10:36 am
Ursula from downtown Brooklyn says:
Tom is correct re traffic volume. (Unsignalized) roundabouts work only with low vehicular volume, in which a motorist entering the circle has space to do so. If 10-20 motorists must queue, it's not working. Most of the roundabouts I've seen are in European villages and in cities with a population in the tens or hundreds of thousands, not millions, or on the outskirts of urban areas.
Aug. 5, 2016, 12:13 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Roundabouts and rotaries only work in theory but not in practice. Also, placing them in major areas of a city does seem like a bad idea. I feel that a better idea is to just remove the plaza altogether and bring back the street. This will make it much easier for traffic flow rather than these pie-in-the-sky traffic calming ideas that really make vehicular traffic worse rather than better. Then again, anything that gives us motorists the royal screw job is always a good thing for the anti-car zealots no matter what.
Aug. 5, 2016, 3:52 pm
Paul from Boerum Hill says:
@ Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

Do you understand that people have been killed in this intersection? And before you say it most of the people killed and injured had the right of way. That is why people that are actually FROM THIS AREA are working in collaboration with DOT to help improve safety.

And yes, traffic flow is taken into account as part of the total picture. If it wasn't the solution would be to close all 3 roads and tell motorists to shove it.

Seriously, WTF is wrong with you?
Aug. 5, 2016, 4:12 pm
Jim from Cobble Hil says:
NO! Roundabouts are terrible and this is not Massachusetts! I have lived in Tokyo and have seen much better ways of mitigating traffic in junctions such as this. Including an all-stop for traffic while all pedestrian signals are green.
Aug. 5, 2016, 5:41 pm
HONEY Pooter from Williamsburg says:
Won't a trafic circle just make drivers dizzy? Circles are unsafe shapes, because they mirror the circular form of the wheel. A hexogonal shape results in slower speeds, hence it's the shape of the stop sign.
Also, who says round about outside of England?
Aug. 5, 2016, 7:18 pm
Jake from Kensington says:
Can we get rid of the round abouts around Prospect Park and expand the park?
Aug. 5, 2016, 9:56 pm
Frédérique from Cobble Hill says:
https://youtu.be/_TkxDa4rKnI
Aug. 6, 2016, 1:23 am
TOM from Sunset Park says:
Roundabouts do work. Safer and with better more traffic flow. Enormous traffic volumes, enormous volumes in any situation will defeat the scheme. You need a little open space which is difficult in a built environment.

Further south on 4th Avenue in Brooklyn roundabouts could work: such as where the Belt terminates at 4th Avenue at 66th Street, or at the junction of the Belt off-ramps and on-ramps(Exit 2) where 4th Avenue meets Shore Road.
Aug. 6, 2016, 4:01 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
The staggered (or delayed?) lights at 66th and 4th seem to be handing the traffic there quite well enough.
Aug. 6, 2016, 4:44 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I hate to break to this to those that support the idea of the roundabout or even talk about pedestrians deaths, but I still believe that there are ways to help improve street safety without having to redesign entire streets. As Jim from Cobble Hill stated, I do feel that it's a better idea to use what is being done in Tokyo especially with the all stop for traffic while the signal is in place. However, I feel that the reason why this won't be support is because it will make all traffic calming ideas obsolete and the anti-car fanatics over at Streetsblog will never accept this because they can't give motorists the royal screw job. Meanwhile, I will consider that column in the Daily News written by Paul Steely White, the head of Transportation Alternatives, to be very selective and biased against motor vehicles, because nowhere does he state rogue cyclists and jaywalkers that are constantly known for flouting the laws, which does show his true colors here. One other thing just because roundabouts work well in some areas doesn't mean that they will work here especially when there is a more denser population where the volumes are much higher. Overall, if you really want safe streets, then the other groups must play their role in safety as well, not just one group only.
Aug. 6, 2016, 5:48 pm
sid from boerum hill says:
The only truly safe way for pedestrians is to separate traffic and peds completely. I years ago suggested a raised pedestrian mall the traffic would continue to flow on the ground level and you would have a lovely walking treed mall reached by gently sloping approaches for the physically challenged. Pipe dream of course. Too expensive....but its the by far best ways(no peds on the ground level at all no bus stops within the mall area either.) escalators to the subways or use interior elevators in the buildings surrounding.
Aug. 6, 2016, 6:59 pm
Bob from NY says:
They should remove the pedestrian crossings entirely, for their own saftey. Then they won't get hit by cars.
Or people can take some personal accountability and obey traffic laws, and not cross against the light at a big intersection like this.
Aug. 7, 2016, 7:37 am
Paul says:
Bob, learn to read. Most of the pedestrians injured had the right of way. Maybe the car lanes should be removed so you'd have to walk and get some well-needed exercise.

Tal, you are a completely hopeless moron. Please help society and just stay in your basement. I'm sure your parents will slide hot pockets under the door every few hours.
Aug. 7, 2016, 10:40 am
Madison from Bushwick says:
Paul - why are you so butthurt with your white male privillege? What about ethnic minorities? Where's their voice? Or women? Ask yourself why this threatens you so much!
Aug. 7, 2016, 1:52 pm
Rita from Cobble Hill says:
And how come nobody has mentioned the additional factor of , I think , 12 subway lines underground at that location ( and the pedestrian traffic THAT generates ) ? And of course , there's the ARENA , and the 2 shopping malls ...
Aug. 7, 2016, 3:52 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Paul, you really need to lay off the personal attacks, because you don't see any of them coming from me. Then again, that's the anti-car crowd for you. It seems that your group can dish criticism, but you can't seem to take it. Although I do agree with you on reckless drivers, there pedestrians that aren't the innocent either, so don't try to place halos over them or even yourself. Of course, your group will always try to ignore that there are jaywalkers that are actually placing themselves into harm's way, but mentioning them will hurt your group's cause in saying that only motorists can do any evil. For the record, I'm all for safe streets, but not for the way you want it, because I feel that there are more easier and cheaper ways to do it, and that is to fix the timing of the lights and have all other groups play their role in safety as well not to mention enforcing the rules on them as well. Seriously, I'm getting tired of pedestrians and even cyclists who keep trying to act like victims to the rules when the enforcement goes on them despite the fact that they keep on wanting motorists to follow every letter of the law when they don't have to. On a side note, I don't appreciate name calling either, because it makes you feel very unprofessional especially when it comes to debates and most won't take you seriously not to mention question your actual age.
Aug. 7, 2016, 4:01 pm
Penelope from Park slope says:
I think the issue about pedestrians vs cars here isn’t who’s right or wrong in this situation. We all make mistakes at any moment - it’s why we have 6 million car accidents every year in the US. The issue is a car kills a person, not the other way around.
Aug. 7, 2016, 4:25 pm
sid from boerum hill says:
Cars and much safer now for the people inside than they were 40 years ago. seat belts, air bags(except when they explode) anti lock brakes, safer bakes and tires, better glass and designed to absorb energy on impact. All these even when the driver makes mistakes. Peds makes mistakes too but it is not safer unless they are separated. BTW millions have been spent to make the car safer for the occupants....
Aug. 7, 2016, 4:50 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Penelope, unfortunately, your statement doesn't give any excuses or justifications for jaywalking, which is what is placing pedestrians into harm's way in the first place.
Aug. 7, 2016, 4:54 pm
sid from boerum hill says:
corrected version
Cars are much safer now for the people inside than they were 40 years ago. seat belts, air bags(except when they explode) anti lock brakes, safer brakes and tires, better glass and designed to absorb energy on impact. All these even when the driver makes mistakes. Peds makes mistakes too but it is not safer unless they are separated. BTW millions have been spent to make the car safer for the occupants....
and even when a pedestrian is wrong(or a cyclist) they fare much worse when hit by a motor vehicle.
Aug. 7, 2016, 9:53 pm
Lisa from Cobble Hill says:
New Yorkers don't understand "roundabouts." Either a light says you stop, or a light says you go. Case in point: the deadly (and much lower volume) roundabout at PPW and 15th Street.
Aug. 7, 2016, 10:35 pm
Paul says:
@ Madison from Bushwick

What in the f-ck are you talking about?

@ Tal

There's no use replying to your insanity.
Aug. 7, 2016, 11:56 pm
Beverly Staples from Windsor Terrace says:
Paul - if you don't get what Madison is saying, why not open up a disctionary and look it up? If there's something I can't stand, it's ignorance! Try and learn something.
Aug. 8, 2016, 8:37 am
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
People keep saying "most of the people killed and injured had the right of way". Nope. Article doesn't say that. It says "Around half of pedestrians mowed down by vehicles were crossing with a green light". That could mean less than 50% just as much as it could mean more than 50%. No evidence here that "most" were in the right.

Let's assume that "almost half" is within a small margin of error of half. That would mean either approximately 48% of the killed or injured had the light, or that approximately 48% of the killed or injured didn't. Either way, pedestrian deaths and injuries could be cut nearly in half if pedestrians and cyclists would take responsibility for their own safety. But, that's not palatable to the anti-car lobby, who only seek to blame motor vehicle drivers. Despite statistics that nearly half of the deaths and injuries were the fault of the pedestrians or cyclists, the anti-car lobby will always claim the pedestrians and cyclists can never be at fault.
Aug. 8, 2016, 9:46 am
Paul says:
@ Beverly Staples from Windsor Terrace

What the hell are you talking about? This is a discussion about traffic safety. Perhaps read through the article and thread first.

@ Sean F from Bensonhurst

It's 51% and I guess according to your statement pedestrians had it coming. It's amazing how much human trash resides down in Southern Brooklyn.
Aug. 8, 2016, 10 am
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
I don't know where you got your figure because it's not in the article, but fine, 51%. I never said they had it coming. If people are going to jaywalk, or ride a bike against traffic, or ride without a helmet or lights, or any of the things the other 49% did, then those people need to take responsibility for their actions, and you anti-car nuts need to accept that you are as much a part of the problem as drivers are. I'm as happy to see enforcement against motor vehicle drivers as I am against pedestrians and bicyclists. If you break the law (or take to the streets in an unsafe manner of any kind), you should be held responsible.

The only human trash in Brooklyn are the anti-car people who can't take responsibility admit that their own kind are at fault nearly half of the time. You do realize that if we do completely eliminate pedestrian and cyclists deaths that are the result of driver fault, every pedestrian and cyclist be killed or injured will be at their own fault? I guess at that stage, you'll start to find fault with the sneaker makers or the bicycle manufacturers instead of acting like a grown-up and accepting responsibility of your own.
Aug. 8, 2016, 10:23 am
Paul says:
It's amazing how psychotic drivers are in this city. Any discussion of safety in a place where people are hurried, run down and cursed at by sociopaths is immediately flagged as being "anti-car people".

and/or

Blaming the victims.

Sean, turn in your driver's license.
Aug. 8, 2016, 11:32 am
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
I'm sorry, Paul, but how can you possibly make that argument. By your own statistics, 49% of victims were at fault. That's not me blaming anyone - that's just facts. Your facts.

As it happens, in 32 years behind the wheel, I have never been involved in an accident involving a pedestrian or cyclist. I've never been ticketed for speeding or running a red light on city streets (had a speeding ticket on an interstate once about 30 years ago).

I'm also a cyclist who has been riding the city streets for about 40 years. I've never had an accident on my bike involving a motor vehicle, and only one close call when a car stopped short to avoid a pedestrian, and I had to swerve to avoid him. I stop at all signs and lights. I wear a helmet, and bright clothes. I use the appropriate lights and signaling devices.

So, yeah, I'm all in favor of doing what we can to protect cyclists and pedestrians from vehicular injuries and death. But, that doesn't mean the rest of the idiots I see on their bikes without helmets, going opposite traffic, not stopping, etcetera, ad infinitum, couldn't have saved themselves.

I'm after 100% drop in pedestrian and cyclist deaths and injuries, but that can't happen when so many cyclists are in denial about their own contribution to the problem. But, if only 51% of pedestrian and cyclists are worth saving in your opinion, I hope you sleep well at night, knowing a little personal responsibility could have saved more. Talk about "human trash" - your treating 49% of pedestrians and cyclists as disposable prints that label on your chest in bright neon letters.
Aug. 8, 2016, 12:10 pm
Paul says:
Your argument here (aside from personal anecdotes) is basically:

No need to improve road safety because some deaths are reported as the victim's fault.

How about this?

No need to build any roads because of drunk drivers....

And as always, thanks for reinforcing the stereotype.
Aug. 8, 2016, 12:29 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
I never said there was no need for improvements in road safety. In fact, I specifically said that I'm in favor of dropping pedestrian and cyclist deaths to zero (instead of the 49% you seem comfortable accepting).

That requires a multi-faceted plan. Road improvements, traffic studies and reconfigurations are all part of it. But, getting inattentive and rogue pedestrians and cyclists under control is also part of it. When non-drivers are responsible for 49% of the problem, we can't save those people until they try to save themselves. I want to save those people, too.

I don't know what stereotype I'm reinforcing, since I'm clearly not anti-car or anti-bike.
Aug. 8, 2016, 12:35 pm
Paul says:
"But, getting inattentive and rogue pedestrians and cyclists under control is also part of it."

FYI - that is the stereotype I refer to. It's impossible to have a productive conversation about traffic safety when the starting point is blaming the victim.
Aug. 8, 2016, 1:41 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
Paul, you don't get it. By definition, the pedestrians and cyclists who don't follow the rules, or take safety measures are not victims. If a cyclist is biking the wrong way up a one-way street, and, without stopping, rides in front of a car that hits him, he's at fault. He's not a victim - he's the perpetrator. These people are part of the problem, and need to be addressed the same way we address the other side of the equation.

It's impossible to have a productive conversation about traffic safety when the starting point is ignoring 49% of the problem.
Aug. 8, 2016, 2:14 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
*without stopping, rides into the intersection in front of a car that hits him
Aug. 8, 2016, 2:27 pm
Paul says:
Sean, apologies in advance for the long post. I hope this explains it better. You have what is called "windshield perspective" which is preventing you from thinking about this holistically.

-A dangerous driver has the potential to kill a pedestrian or a cyclist.

-A dangerous cyclist has the potential to severely injure a pedestrian.

-A "dangerous" pedestrian is only a danger to themselves, no one else.

Traffic volume through this intersection
1) Pedestrians and transit riders
2) Drivers
3) Cyclists

Protecting highest volume of traffic (pedestrians) from the 2nd higher volume (drivers) but also most dangerous means that focus should be on traffic calming and aggressive enforcement of traffic laws on these 3 streets.

Focusing on jaywalking pedestrians (1) wastes finite resources and (2) doesn't completely negate the 49% problem anyway.

To explain further yes 51% of the traffic crashes were deemed to be absolutely driver fault., we agree on that.

Now where there is some confusion is on the 49%. You are forgetting to account how much of the 49% can be solved by prioritizing traffic calming and enforcement. Remember even if a crash is flagged as pedestrian violation it still requires the driver to fail in their duty to exercise due care.

So net summary you are not completely wrong here but the method of solving it still needs to focus on protecting the most vulnerable and also highest volume of traffic going through these streets.
Aug. 8, 2016, 2:58 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
I get that all. But, the bike advocacy groups need to put their energy into bike safety education. I honestly don't know that we really can educate people not to jaywalk - it's hardwired into the New York mindset. The only time I don't cross at a crosswalk or cross mid-block is if I can't see a vehicle or bike within a full block of my location in either direction.

We can, and should, focus as much attention as possible on bicycle safety as on driver education and enforcement. If we can reduce the 49%, we save lives, and can show that vehicle drivers are responsible for more deaths and injuries. Let's say we get the percentages to 75% motorist fault, and 25% pedestrian/cyclists. Doesn't that work in our favor when petitioning for change?

The one thing you say that I don't agree with is "Remember even if a crash is flagged as pedestrian violation it still requires the driver to fail in their duty to exercise due care." This isn't true. I can be driving at the speed limit, obeying every traffic law, and exercising absolute diligence, but if a bike comes racing through a light, and I hit him, I have failed at nothing. And if he's not wearing a helmet, more shame on him for reckless riding.

But, I do think we are seeing closer to one another's point now, and personally, I'm glad for it. Discussion works better than vilification.
Aug. 8, 2016, 3:50 pm
Paul says:
Sean,

Agreed I think we're coming closer to the point now

Couple things to add

- We're solving the same problem here but in a different way. Drivers are the most dangerous mode and also the lowest volume mode. Thus they have to take on the highest accountability. It's harsh and it sounds like I'm an anti-car person picking on a specific mode but the reality is the car is not in it's natural habitat in pedestrian heavy and thus it can't act like it is in its natural habitat.

-This is not uniform city wide which does create a natural conflict however at Flatbush/Atlantic pedestrians outnumber cars by a massive amount

- This is accomplished both through engineering traffic calming solutions, slowing down speeds and also reducing or eliminating points of conflict (turns).

-What I'm suggesting here too has proven time and time again to not create traffic nor slow down travel times dramatically. Study after study shows traffic calming improves safety without "screwing over" drivers. No one absolutely no one is interested in screwing over drivers, we get our beer delivered via trucks after all. Can't stop that. We just want realistic safety which putting the blame on helmets or suicidal pedestrians is not reality.

- Net effect is traffic has to move slower and more predictably through pedestrian heavy areas which is good for all.

- And to the point of pedestrian "error". Traffic engineering has to design for "stupid". Design for "stupid" in this case is a safety net for pedestrians who jaywalk. Enforcing jaywalking as a fine/penalty is not happening, you and I both know it's too ingrained in our city's culture. By designing speeds, streets and the such to chip away at 49% is absolutely possible. Create a margin of error and the needle moves.

In regards to cyclists, fixing that is a simple as removing cyclist from car travel lanes. Dedicated protected bike paths solve both the cross mode crash problem and the "helmet" straw man argument that comes up.
Aug. 8, 2016, 4:53 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
Good steps. For the record, I don't believe I've ever used the terms "screwing over drivers". Others have, but I'm fairly certain I haven't.

The problem is that streets in New York have, in fact, evolved into natural habitats for motor vehicles. Whether that was the original intent or not, it is the reality of the City's evolution. Now, we certainly do what we can to reduce tragic interactions of vehicles and pedestrians/cyclists - speed laws, traffic lights, crosswalks, bike lanes, curb cuts, walk/don't walk signs with timers, extended sidewalks, pedestrian plazas, etc. And we have to do more. But I don't agree that streets are not the natural habitat for motor vehicles.

The unfortunate thing is that because our streets are beholden to the real estate configurations of our grid, there isn't much room on many of them to create wholly protected bike lanes. So, shared lanes and bike safety have to go hand-in-hand (and that's leaving aside the issue of bike-on-bike or bike-on-pedestrian accidents, where helmets would, at the very least, save some cyclists from a nasty injury).

Still lots to do. I wonder if Google will ever get around to making self-driving bikes. :)
Aug. 8, 2016, 5:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sean F, there is no getting to Paul here especially due to his anti-car bias. Then again, this might be Paul Steely White himself here talking, which might explain how defensive he is. Seriously, I feel that the problem of this area accelerated when Ratner got that arena built, and had that not been the case, it probably wouldn't have been so bad. However, the point is that you can never have safe streets until all groups follow the traffic laws, not just one only. For the record, I was applauded at a Vision Zero hearing not that long ago for saying this. My point is that if a cyclist or pedestrian gets hit when they are the ones flouting the traffic laws, then it's their fault for placing themselves into harm's way, not the motorist or at least not being solely responsible for their actions. The other problem is that there are websites such as Streetsblog that encourage such behavior for those who don't drive, and they feel that having them following the rules will make them part of the system they are trying to fight. Ironically, they want all motorists to follow every letter of the law while having such strict enforcement with huge punishments when at the same time feel that their kind is always above the laws and should be given nothing more than just a slap on the wrist. Overall, I'm not saying that all motorists are innocent when they hit someone, but for whatever you say about those that are reckless, I can easily say the same about your kind. On a side note, you really need to cut the personal attacks and name calling, because it doesn't help you in your claim.
Aug. 8, 2016, 5:14 pm
Paul says:
Agreed, Sean. I think we've come to basically the same point.

Apologies for any harsh tone I used through the chain. I'm self aware enough to understand that I have a tendency to be an a-s and unnecessarily rude in discourse.

I blame idiot trolls like Tal for it :)

But glad Sean that you see the picture. Have a good one.
Aug. 8, 2016, 5:44 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
My apologies, also, Paul, if I also said anything offensive or heated. I do think we made considerable progress toward understanding (sorry, Tal, looks like I got to Paul, and he got to me). I'll keep these perspectives in mind for future discussions on the subject.
Aug. 8, 2016, 7:58 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Let me just clear things up here. First of all, I have nothing against those that want to disagree with my views, it's those that have attacked me personally that I'm against here. One of the examples is saying that I'm a troll, when I'm clearly not one, or even saying that I live in my parent's basement really does cross the line. For the record, I don't attack the person or even demand them to be censored, I just state why I disagree with them and that's it, but it seems to be the reverse for the other side. Nevertheless, it might be true that the streets weren't originally designed for motor vehicles, but many were finding service animals such as horses to be obsolete by the turn of the century. Expanding the streets to help them move more efficiently or even creating a highway system wasn't exactly creating a car culture, it was reacting to one, because it already existed before all of that and was seen that the existing roads couldn't handle them. Also, I find it a bad idea to place traffic calming just to make the streets safer especially when some of them happen to be major thoroughfares that even commercial vehicles tend to use. Another thing is about emergency vehicles especially when there is an actual emergency for them and the traffic calming will slow them down. Do you think that criminals, fires, or even some fatal diseases will wait for the emergency vehicles to arrive to the needed scenes? My answer is most likely no. The reason why I have been known for slamming websites such as Streetsblog on such issues is mainly because of their anti-car bias just the same way I slam a website such as the Electronic Intifada for their anti-Israel bias. Although I do agree that such an intersection has issues, you can't just blame the problem solely on motorists, because there are pedestrians who have been known for crossing there without the signal hence jaywalking, so they aren't the innocent either. Keep in mind that just about everywhere else, pedestrians are ticketed for jaywalking and the rules for them are more heavily enforced unlike here. However, if that is to be done, the anti-car fanatics over on Streetsblog will be crying foul to this and claim that they are being picked on and claim to be victims of the rules whenever that is the case, and they do go on record for that. My suggestion is to just fix the timing of the traffic lights and walk signals, because it can be done faster and doesn't cost that much, not to mention it can be done faster as it has been done in the Far East without issues. Then again, the anti-car fanatics will never agree to this because it will give no reason to promote their agenda for traffic calming. Overall, the car culture is just like the WNBA, because as much as you hate it, this won't be going away anytime soon. On a side note, we don't personal attacks from where I come from because it's seen as being unprofessional not to mention makes me want to question what your actual age is.
Aug. 9, 2016, 4:44 pm
Paul says:
Tal,

It's not creating a pedestrian culture, it's reacting to one.

This is on top of the largest transit hub in Brooklyn. It's one of the biggest retail hubs in Brooklyn. It's next to a heavily used arena. It's the border of several residential areas.

People walk to and from these places.

This is why are a idiot troll. You weigh in on an area that you don't have any knowledge about with complete insanity. People here in Brooklyn are trying to solve safety issues that are killing people! Do you not understand that?
Aug. 10, 2016, 3:39 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I hate to break this to you Paul, who is the real troll here, but being against redesigning streets doesn't mean I'm against safety. I just find this to be overreacting. How about telling me fixing the timing of the traffic signals like the way it's done in the Far East isn't a good idea. Could it be that it makes all ideas about traffic calming feel obsolete? Another thing is that you leave at the jaywalkers who intentionally go against the signal, which shows that they aren't victims. I could try to explain to you more, but knowing your nature, it's sort of like trying to get the Muslim Brotherhood to recognize Israel as a Jewish state if you know what I mean. On a side note, cut the personal attacks, plus start learning to be more mature and act your actual age.
Aug. 11, 2016, 3:34 pm
Paul says:
So, you Tal - a complete moron that spews nonsense on the internet from your mother's basement knows more about traffic safety then real life actual traffic engineers?

And for your information if you are referring to Tokyo as part of your "The Far East" example they stop all lanes of traffic when pedestrians cross. That is an idea that was thrown out in the DOT meeting for being too destructive to traffic patterns.

Because in the DOT meeting sane people got together to discuss real issues. As far as I remember no one mentioned Israel though.......
Aug. 11, 2016, 5:44 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Your group only finds the Tokyo idea to be destructive because then you can't give motorists the royal screw job, which is part of your groups agenda, Paul, who can't seem to stop with the personal attacks and is the real moron here for doing such.
Aug. 11, 2016, 6:28 pm
Paul says:
The agenda is safety you f-cking tool.

But perhaps you missed when I said the "Tokyo Idea" was shutdown by DOT traffic engineers because it would be too destructive to traffic patterns!
Aug. 11, 2016, 6:50 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
Tal. The reason that works at all in Tokyo is because it is in the Japanese nature not to inconvenience others any more than necessary. As a culture, they recognize that jaywalking is inconsiderate as well as dangerous, and do so rarely. I would bet that most jaywalkers in Tokyo are non-Japanese. Whether it is the law or not, it would be considered a shameful thing to hit a pedestrian. Sadly, none of those innate cultural norms exist in New York drivers, pedestrians or cyclists. Even if we made it a law, it would never work here.

Note, no name calling or insults here. It's a great idea for a different culture.
Aug. 11, 2016, 11:15 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Since we're talking about jaywalking, this letter from today's Daily News is an interesting read.

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/aug-12-stop-and-frisk-politics-article-1.2747802

Playing with their lives

Brookyn: Every day I see pedestrians crossing the street against the light, not paying attention and oblivious to the world around them because they are plugged into outer space with that stupid box in their hands. The other day by Kings Plaza, I witnessed a young girl almost being hit by a car because she just walked out into the street. Is this what the world has become? A bunch of mindless idiots who can’t put the phone in their pocket or purse when they are out in the street? Pay attention, fellow drivers, because these future victims aren’t paying attention to us! Christopher Burner
Aug. 12, 2016, 6:20 pm
Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
Tal. You just committed cooyright infringement again.

You cannot repost copyrighted material in its entirety without permission, even if you cite the source. You can quote from copyrighted material for purposes of comment or critique of the material.
Aug. 14, 2016, 11:52 am
Thanks Mr. Anecdote from You Don't Get It says:
Tal, thanks for the anecdote. That one-time observation from a random resident is very helpful to providing safety recommendations for an intersection that 100s of thousands of people cross over each day.

/sarcasm
Aug. 15, 2016, 11:04 am

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