Pier 6 Pedestrian Safety Gets Boost as DOT Adopts BHA Prexy’s Plan

The issue of safety for pedestrians going to Pier 6 of Brooklyn Bridge Park with its popular playgrounds and volleyball courts has been a priority for the Brooklyn Heights Association for the past year and a half. The BHA now sends us this news:

Ever since the playgrounds opened on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the BHA has been appealing to the NYC DOT to make it safe for pedestrians to cross the BQE’s northbound entrance on Atlantic Avenue.

We asked for four things: (1) elimination of the right turn on red signal on Atlantic Avenue at the BQE northbound entrance; (2) a pedestrian only crossing light phase; (3) a dedicated left turn onto the BQE ramp for eastbound vehicles; (4) installation of a red light camera for better enforcement.

The good news is that the DOT plans will make three of these changes, starting this spring!

Following a diagram produced by BHA President Jane McGroarty, the agency will: 1) prohibit the right turn on red at all times; 2) change the existing signals to create a dedicated pedestrian-only crossing; 3) add arrow signals to channel the left and right turning vehicles at this intersection. These improvements will make the intersection much safer, and we’re very grateful to the DOT for moving forward with the requests.

Before doing the above, the DOT plans to build up the triangular shaped “island” on Atlantic in the westbound left lane (the island is now marked with stripes just west of Hicks Street on Atlantic Avenue). Because this involves pouring concrete, it probably won’t be done before spring (2012), but “Jane’s Plan” is definitely in the works.

NOTE: You can help us by continuing to press the DOT for a countdown clock in the pedestrian signal AND for the red light camera installation.

Unfortunately, getting a red light camera will require action in Albany. This, and other instances of the State’s stranglehold on the City, are enough to make one wish that Norman Mailer and Jimmy Breslin had succeeded in their quixotic campaign to make New York City the 51st state.

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