One of Brooklyn’s busiest streets, as well as one of its most dangerous, is about to get safer, thanks to $6 million allocated by New York State for Ocean Parkway Corridor Walking and Bicycling Safety Improvements.
The improvements, announced by Assemblymember Dov Hikind, are all part of the NY Works program and supplement the existing State Road and Bridge Capital Plan.
With the hike in public transportation prices and more drivers looking for an alternative to driving to work, bicycling is at an all-time high in the city, making roadways like Ocean Parkway significantly more dangerous as an increasing number of bikers and pedestrians join motorists along its length. The monies will go towards state-of-the-art signage and other improvements to protect pedestrians and bicyclists along the thoroughfare.
“These improvements will be truly valuable to our community,” said Hikind. “The dangers on Ocean Parkway have long been expressed by our residents. There are pedestrians walking where bicyclists are supposed to be and bicyclists riding where people are trying to walk. Confusion on a busy highway means high risk to everyone.”
Of all Brooklyn streets, Ocean Parkway has been the most dangerous for pedestrians, tallying six pedestrian fatalities from 2009 to 2011. Eastern Parkway was the second most perilous, with five pedestrian fatalities in the same time period.
The alterations are crucial, stressed Associate Director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign Ryan Lynch, who noted, “There is a protected bike lane but some intersections are still unsafe. Ocean Parkway connects Coney Island to the Prospect Expressway, but there are residential neighborhoods filled with pedestrians that cause concern.”