City workers will begin installing protected bike lanes and sidewalk extensions along Ninth Street in Park Slope this week, roughly five months after a driver killed two kids and injured their mothers and another man as they crossed the street at Fifth Avenue.
The arrival of Ninth Street’s new four-foot bike lanes, each protected by three-foot buffers behind eight-foot parking lanes, and so-called bump outs, which will reduce the length of crossings at intersections between Prospect Park West and Third Avenue by 15 feet, follows a repaving of the street earlier this month, according to a Department of Transportation rep, who said the agency, which is handling the redesign project internally, expects to finish the job before Labor Day.
Ninth Street’s two vehicle lanes remain 11-feet wide, but transit gurus expect motorists to move slower because they will be sandwiched between rows of parked cars.
Workers will also expand existing daytime loading zones to discourage double-parking on the road, which will lose 26 parking spaces as a result of its makeover, according to the agency rep.
In June, some locals criticized the redesign at its reveal, arguing it did nothing to stop truck drivers from illegally using Ninth Street in lieu of their designated routes — a chronic problem that a Transportation Department rep acknowledged at the time.
“You pointed out a very big hole in our truck route, and we’re talking about this right now,” transit worker Ted Wright said to members of Community Board 6’s Transportation Committee.
Agency reps did not immediately respond to questions about whether they’ve prepared measures to curb illicit big-rig traffic on Ninth Street, or when such crackdowns may take effect.
Meanwhile, Dorothy Bruns, the driver who killed 1-year-old Joshua Lew, 4-year-old Abigail Blumenstein, and the unborn baby of Tony Award–winning actress Ruthie Ann Miles — Blumenstein’s mother, who lost the child months after the collision and recently returned to the stage, according to reports — is expected to return to court on Wednesday, where she faces reckless-manslaughter and other charges that could land her behind bars for up to 15 years if convicted.
©2018 Community News Group
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