Call it a turn for the better!
A new stop sign on Cadman Plaza East and Red Cross Place in Downtown Brooklyn will keep drivers from flying around an intersection routinely choked with pedestrians searching for the Brooklyn Bridge, an advocate who successfully petitioned the city for the red octagon says.
“There’s a lot of pedestrian traffic, and to me the most important thing to do was reduce speeds of the vehicles that would blow around the corner at 20 mph,” said Brian Howald, a member of Community Board 2’s transportation committee, who submitted a request to the Department of Transportation for the stop sign in September.
The agency installed the sign and street markings in March, after determining that one was needed at the location, a spokeswoman said.
Previously, motorists traveling into Downtown from Dumbo encountered barricades at the intersection, where federal authorities have blocked off a stretch in front of the United States Eastern District courthouse to accommodate judges who like to park close to work.
Howald said cars that are forced to turn left at that point often speed around the bend into an area near the High Street subway station often crowded with walkers bound for the bridge, parks and sights of Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo.
“People are always crossing at that intersection and drivers are making a left, not looking at crossing traffic,” he said.
Now, with the new stop sign, motorists will need to brake before rounding that curve and pedestrians have dedicated spaces to cross on newly-painted crosswalks.
There haven’t been any injuries or fatalities at the intersection this year, but there have been four vehicular collisions, according to city data.
Meanwhile, Howald is pumped about getting the stop sign installed, saying that each little bit of pedestrian safety counts.
“In its own little small-town way it feels pretty empowering,” he said. “It’s good to know that when you spot a deficiency in how the city is protecting pedestrians and point out the error that they’ll come and fix it sometimes.”