Pending new lane markings aim to make Ocean Parkway safer for both cyclists and pedestrians.
The notoriously busy mixed-use Brooklyn street recently received a $6 million allocation for signage and other improvements to be placed along its Malls in response to some alarming complaints.
According to Assemblymember Dov Hikind—who announced the allocation earlier this month—while signage is currently in place to designate specific walking and biking paths along the Ocean Parkway Malls, the dangers for both bikers and pedestrians continue to present a serious safety issue.
“I was proud to allocate millions of dollars for Ocean Parkway to protect bicyclists and pedestrians and to improve road safety,” said Hikind. “For years, while walking with my mother I witnessed many potential accidents. The signage has been enhanced tremendously. But I am still seeing pedestrians carelessly walking in clearly designated bike lanes at risk of colliding head-on with bicyclists.”
Hikind said that the allocation is part of the NY Works program—a statewide capital plan that involves a task force bringing together leading finance, labor, planning and transportation professionals to coordinate an infrastructure plan for a more effective and strategic allocation of New York’s capital investment funding. The program will supplement the existing State Road and Bridge Capital Plan.
“Whether it’s children, elderly individuals or mothers with strollers, walking in the bike lanes is extremely dangerous,” Hikind continued. “In addition, the pedestrian path on the eastern side of Ocean Parkway clearly indicates, ‘No Biking’ but I continue to see bicyclists ignoring these signs.”
Councilmember Mark Treyger, a longtime advocate for a safer Ocean Parkway, is well-versed on the street’s conditions as well and hopes the allocation will bring the appropriate protection for Brooklynites who frequent it.
“This has been a point of frustration that must be immediately addressed,” said Treyger, who has also spearheaded the fight alongside Councilmember David Greenfield to get the overwhelming pothole problem on Ocean Parkway taken care of. “We have to maintain these Malls for the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists alike. There have been stretches I’ve heard complaints about, from Avenue T to Avenue X, and there’s been a neglect of these Malls.
“The ground is cracking and it is unclear where the bike lanes are,” Treyger continued. “We have to get it together here. These are not just quality of life concerns, these are safety concerns for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.”