Plans are moving full speed ahead for the repair of Ocean Parkway, but drivers shouldn’t plan on making left turns at any of nine major intersections along the thoroughfare, where the option will be eliminated.
The intersections where the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) will ban left turns as part of the multi-faceted project, slated to begin in early spring and be completed by fall, 2017, include Avenue C, Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Avenue, 18th Avenue, Avenue I, Avenue J, Avenue P, Kings Highway and Avenue U, according to an agency spokesperson, who told this paper, “NYSDOT is investing $8.5 million to enhance pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility along Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, between the Prospect Expressway and Shore (Belt) Parkway.”
In addition, according to an NYSDOT spokesperson, specific improvements will also include:
•Replacing stop signs with traffic signals on the service roads at Avenue C, 18th Avenue, Bay Parkway, Avenue J, Avenue P and Kings Highway;
•Reconstructing 177 pedestrian ramps (to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act) at Avenue C, Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Avenue, 18th Avenue, Avenue I, Bay Parkway, Avenue J, Avenue P, Kings Highway, and Avenue U;
•Installing 159 countdown pedestrian signals, including the high incident locations of: Avenue C, Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Avenue, 18th Avenue, Avenue I, Bay Parkway, Avenue J, Avenue P, Kings Highway and Avenue U;
•Installing speed display signs between Avenue F and Ditmas Avenue, Elmwood Avenue and Avenue H, and at Avenue K;
•Upgrading the pavement markings and installing high visibility crosswalks at Avenue C, Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Avenue, 18th Avenue, Avenue I, Bay Parkway, Avenue J, Avenue P, Kings Highway and Avenue U; and,
•Upgrading the traffic signs at Avenue C, Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Avenue, 18th Avenue, Avenue I, Bay Parkway, Avenue J, Avenue P, Kings Highway and Avenue U.
“This is a major thoroughfare that thousands of people use on a daily basis,” Assemblymember Dov Hikind, who has long lobbied for the repair of the problematic road, said, “so we need to ensure residents of our community that this process will go as smoothly as possible.”
The assemblymember recently met with the Director of Government Affairs and External Relations for NYSDOT, Charles O’Shea, to discuss the construction plans and any potential issues that might arise during the repairs—which will include a full concrete pavement makeover, for a much sturdier and long-lasting thoroughfare; updated traffic signals, signage and ramps to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety; and improved traffic flow.
“Through looking over the construction plans for Ocean Parkway, there are certainly some things we can address moving forward,” said Hikind. “It is our hope that with the help from the New York State Department of Transportation, we can help make traveling along Ocean Parkway a much more pleasant experience for all parties involved.”
The project has long been an issue for Brooklyn pols. Councilmembers Mark Treyger and David Greenfield, had repeatedly demanded fixes for the road’s problematic potholes, uneven pavement and inadequate signage for pedestrians and bicyclists before the allocation, secured through 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—was finalized.
“The current state of Ocean Parkway is absolutely unacceptable and must be addressed on behalf of thousands of residents who rely on this main thoroughfare each day,” Treyger said in September. “This has clearly become a legitimate safety issue that is putting drivers at risk due to the potholes and broken pavement along the entire stretch of Ocean Parkway.”
Additionally, in a separate contract for approximately $6.7 million, which is scheduled to be released for bidding in December, 2016, NYSDOT will install new pavement and new pavement markings on Ocean Parkway between the Prospect Expressway and the Belt Parkway, NYSDOT told this paper.