The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed a bevy of safety improvements at Third Avenue, Marine Avenue and 99th Street in Bay Ridge.
The proposal, as discussed by Community Board 10 Traffic and Transportation Committee Chair Jayne Capetanakis at the full board’s June meeting, addresses three existing conditions the board has found “problematic” at the intersections.
The first, she said, is the area’s “unusually long crossing distances.” At 99th and Third, Capetanakis said, there is a 75-foot crosswalk, and at Marine and Third, there is a 90-foot crosswalk.
The second is the intersection’s setback at 99th Street, which, she said, makes pedestrians less visible to coming vehicles.
Third, she said, is the wide angle at Marine and Third “that allow vehicles to turn at higher speeds.”
The proposal, the chair said, would create four painted “neckdowns,” or wide painted-out curbs, to shorten the crossing distances, increase visibility and slow turns. The neckdowns are not actually curb extensions, but rather paint with plastic flexible delineators.
The neckdowns, she said, would shorten the crosswalks to be about 45 and 60 feet respectively. Thirdly, they would realign the crosswalk at 99th Street, making it actually extend to the sidewalk – which is currently does not do.
Once the paint goes down, Capetanakis informed the board, the DOT’s plan is to build the project out capitally, at which point it will go on a list of future continued projects.
“Committee members agreed that this was a good beginning to making safety improvements in this high-need senior safety area,” the chair said, referencing the intersections’ proximity to the Fort Hamilton Senior Center, 9941 Fort Hamilton Parkway.
Some board members however, felt the proposal to be premature, as the DOT is still conducting a study as to whether a recently installed traffic light in the area is working, and whether the agency will move it.
“That would change the whole scenario,” Cruz said.
Another board member suggested a turning light instead. Still, Capetanakis maintained, the committee felt the plan to be a good start.