New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Announces Atlantic Avenue will be among First 50 Vision Zero Projects
Last night at a Vision Zero Town Hall in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg announced that Atlantic Avenue will be among the first 50 priority corridors slated for safety engineering and improvements.
The announcement was the culmination of an eight-month-long campaign by environmental, transportation and community advocates to urge the City Council and the new administration to prioritize safety improvements on Atlantic Avenue. Commissioner Trottenberg made the announcement at a DOT-sponsored Town Hall at Medgar Evers College on Thursday evening.
Atlantic Avenue – one of the longest, widest and busiest arteries through Central Brooklyn – is an unsafe place for thousands of New Yorkers who use it each day. Between 2002 and 2013, over 1,400 pedestrians and cyclists were injured by drivers along Atlantic Avenue. In Council Member Laurie Cumbo’s district (District 35) alone, 230 men, women and children were injured in the same time period. Five of those hit were killed. As the neighborhoods on either side of Atlantic Avenue boom with residential and commercial activity, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic along the street has increased dramatically.
“I want to thank NYCDOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg for her leadership and immediate response to community concerns about Atlantic Avenue, which has one of the highest incident rates due to heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic,” said Council Member Laurie Cumbo of the 35th District. “The implementation of the Vision Zero Action Plan to improve public safety requires the participation of all stakeholders – the de Blasio Administration, city and state government, but most importantly all New Yorkers.”
“This is great news for anyone who uses Atlantic Avenue,” said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Commissioner Trottenberg’s announcement is the start of a process that will transform Brooklyn’s most dangerous road into a model of complete and safe streets. We applaud Mayor De Blasio, Commissioner Trottenberg and Council Member Laurie Cumbo for making safer streets a high priority.”
“Not only is there unanimity that Atlantic Avenue is one of the most dangerous roads in New York City, but there is also consensus among the community, elected, and appointed leaders that this deadly thoroughfare must be given priority treatment. Thanks to NYCDOT Commissioner Trottenberg and Councilmember Laurie Cumbo for responding to community concerns and to Mayor de Blasio for his commitment to eliminating pedestrian fatalities citywide,” said Veronica Vanterpool, Executive Director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.
“This announcement brings long-overdue attention to a corridor plagued by traffic violence and reckless driving,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. "Transforming Atlantic Avenue into a Complete Street, with protected bike lanes, dedicated bus lanes and pedestrian safety improvements will save lives, boost local business and improve the quality of life for everyone living on or near the street. We thank Council Member Cumbo, Commissioner Trottenberg and Mayor de Blasio on this important announcement. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure that the promise of this announcement, and Vision Zero city-wide, is realized as soon as possible."
“We look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio, Council Member Laurie Cumbo, and stakeholders from the communities surrounding Atlantic Avenue to make it a safe, complete street that unites our neighborhoods,” said Gib Veconi, Treasurer of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council. “We share Commissioner Trottenberg’s enthusiasm for both the challenges and opportunities that come with bringing the goals of Vision Zero to Atlantic Avenue.”
(Photo by Matt Weinstein.)