Five options currently under consideration
The city’s Department of Transportation is developing a traffic safety plan for the intersection of Marine Avenue and Third Avenue, but it’s not clear how soon any changes will be coming to the busy corner because the agency is still analyzing five separate proposals.
A DOT spokesperson said the agency conducted a workshop on Jan. 16 with Community Board 10’s Traffic and Transportation Committee at which the five proposals were presented. The purpose of the workshop was to gather public input, according to the spokesperson. The agency expects to return to the community board next month with another presentation.
“We are currently reviewing community input from the workshop and expect to have an update in March,” the spokesperson told the Home Reporter in an email.
Jayne Capetanakis, chairperson of Board 10’s Traffic and Transportation Committee, told her colleagues at a meeting of the full board on Jan. 27 that the corner of Marine Avenue and Third Avenue has been a problem intersection for years. In addition, the stretch of Third Avenue that runs from Marine Avenue to 99th Street, a short distance measuring about half a block, is also in need of serious scrutiny, she said.
“This particular intersection on Third Avenue from Marine to 99th Street has been an area of community concern for many years. Signal improvements were made by DOT in January 2015 that were soon followed by a community board request to make pedestrian improvements at Third Avenue and Marine Avenue,” Capetians wrote in her Jan. 27 report to the board.
The configuration of the intersection is a major part of the problem, according to Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann.
The area has unusually long crossing distances for pedestrians, Beckmann said. The cross walk at Marine Avenue and Third Avenue is 90 feet long. At Third Avenue and 99th Street, pedestrians have to navigate a 75-foot-long crosswalk.
“The DOT proposals include bump-outs at the intersection to shorten the distance that pedestrians have to cross,” Beckmann told the Home Reporter.
Bump-outs are painted extensions of the curb.
Another factor adding to the danger for pedestrians is the wide angle at Marine Avenue and Third Avenue, which results in drivers turning at high rates of speed, Board 10 members said.
The options presented by DOT at the workshop included changing traffic signals on Third and Marine to improve control of drivers making turns at the intersection and reversing the flow on traffic on 99th Street between Third Avenue and Shore Road so that it runs toward Shore Road.
It’s not clear how Board 10 will react to the traffic flow reversal proposal. But a proposal DOT put forth in 2019 to reverse the flow of traffic was quickly rejected by residents who live in the vicinity.
“In October 2019, DOT returned to CB10 with a proposal that would have reversed the flow of traffic on 99th Street west of Third Avenue from northbound to southbound. This was met with opposition from local residents and now DOT returned for this informational meeting of five alternatives they have come up with,” Capetanakis said, referring to the Jan. 16 workshop.
Beckmann said one resident who attended the workshop proposed that DOT alter the traffic light to give pedestrians additional seconds to cross the street before traffic is allowed to proceed.