Eighteenth Avenue will see some spring in its step come April.
Parts of the busy corridor that cuts across Bensonhurst and stretches to Borough Park will be getting a facelift thanks to its status as a ‘Vision Zero Priority Corridor.’
According to Community Board 11 District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia, the Department of Transportation (DOT) will be resurfacing 18th Avenue from 86th Street to Cropsey Avenue tentatively beginning April 4.
While the number of traffic-related injuries in the area has decreased, according to crash data available on a Vision Zero View map, for the 14 months ending February, 29 2016, there were 741 injuries and eight fatalities in total within the 62nd Precinct (which includes Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and Gravesend), with 237 of the injuries reported to be to pedestrians. Motorist injuries totaled a whopping 442. The remaining 62 injuries were to cyclists. Of the eight fatalities, seven were pedestrians and one was a motorist.
The community board supported the plan unanimously, noted Elias-Pavia.
“There need to be high visibility crosswalks up there and countdown clocks,” she stressed. “The density of our district has grown over the years and of course we support safety initiatives to prevent any further crashes.”
The Vision Zero Priority Corridor distinction follows a five-borough approach to map out the city’s most dangerous roads and intersections, according to DOT.
“In each borough, heat maps were created to highlight locations with the highest density of pedestrian fatalities and severe injuries,” the Vision Zero Pedestrian Safety Action Plans outline. “These maps were then used to create borough Priority Maps. DOT and NYPD are tasked with addressing road safety for all residents in all boroughs, so creating five separate action plans was the most practical way to develop a robust set of focused, effective actions for each borough.”
According to Elias-Pavia, other changes to 18th Avenue will include putting a 13-foot-long parking lane stripe between 69th and 85th Streets, and adding a flush center median. The strip will not see any shifting of lanes or loss of parking as a result of the changes and all work will be done during evening hours, said Elias-Pavia.
In January, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office dubbed 2015 the “safest year on New York City streets,” with traffic fatalities down 22 percent from before Vision Zero launched in 2014. In order to build on that progress, de Blasio pledged to take Vision Zero further in 2016 by unveiling $115 million in new capital investment plans including studies to calm traffic, a crackdown on dangerous driving, and making hazardous left-turns safer while expanding enforcement.