Coney Islanders are celebrating the installation of new four-way stop signs and painted crosswalks at a bustling and notably dangerous Surf Avenue intersection.
The community has long petitioned the city for an improved crosswalk at the corner of Surf Avenue and West 37th Street, with Community Board 13 going as far as passing a resolution calling for added safety measures.
“Our office has continuously petitioned [the Department of Transportation] to act on the issue, and to come see the intersection firsthand,” Councilmember Ari Kagan told Brooklyn Paper. “Prior requests had simply fallen on deaf ears.”
Earlier this month, Kagan’s office brought DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, Brooklyn Commissioner Keith Bray and chair of the Council’s Committee on Transportation Selvena Brooks-Powers to the intersection. There, Kagan said the three “saw the unacceptable situation, and promised to take action by the end of the month.”
On Friday, July 22, locals saw their years of hard work come to fruition.
So excited to see the #TransportationAndInfrastructure tours have been able to help elevate issues that lead to safer streets. Thanks so much, @CMAriKagan47, for your advocacy on behalf of your district. Now, your residents will be able to cross the street safely! More to come. https://t.co/X486jb0cH1
— CMSelvenaBrooksPowers (@CMBrooksPowers) July 22, 2022
The crossing — located near the Scheuer House of Coney Island, a senior housing facility and community center — is a vital one for local elders, Kagan said. It’s also the closest intersection to the entrance to Seagate, a gated community along the Riegelmann Boardwalk.
“It was one of the most dangerous intersections in Coney Island,” Kagan said, “not just for pedestrians but for drivers as well, if you’re a driver going to Seagate or from Seagate.”
Crash reports show that the southern Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brighton Beach, Sea Gate and Coney Island have seen a combined 23 crashes within the last month.
Exacerbating the issue on Surf Avenue and West 37th Street, Kagan said, is the placement of a nearby bus stop, which the pol said often causes blindspots for drivers.
“If there’s a bus staying there on the particular stop and you’re a senior wanting to cross Surf Avenue, you [can’t] see what’s going on behind the bus and if you’re a driver, you [can’t] see the senior,” the councilmember said. “You’re not going to slow down, if you [can’t] see anybody.”
The pol believes that, with the work of DOT, the intersection will go from being one of the peninsula’s most dangerous to being one of the safest.
“The community has been overwhelmingly supportive. All local associations and organizations are in support, including the Sea Gate Association, Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island and JASA, which are [both] located on the intersection, as well as the local community board,” said Kagan. “Seniors and people with disabilities especially are happy, as crossing the street prior was truly life-threatening.”
DOT did not immediately respond to a request for comment.