Residents Bring Ocean Pkwy Petition to Governor

Residents Bring Ocean Pkwy Petition to Governor

NEW YORK, NY - Earlier today, Council Member Brad Lander, Kensington neighborhood residents, and transportation safety advocates, delivered the ‘Our neighborhood is not a highway’ petition directly to Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office. The petition calls on the New York State Department of Transportation to sign-off on a safety plan to address crash-prone intersection at Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway, where a pedestrian was killed earlier this summer.

Last year, residents voted in Council Member Lander’s “participatory budgeting” election to allocate $200,000 to safety upgrades at the notorious intersection – but that money has gone unspent because the New York State Department of Transportation has not approved a plan from the New York City DOT that would make it safer to cross.

But a letter that NYS DOT sent to elected officials last week is giving the community hope. The letter stated that NYS DOT is reevaluating the intersection and considering improvements that could be made, including the safety plan that community members voted to fund last year.

“We are encouraged that NYS DOT is finally recognizing the need for safety improvements at this dangerous intersection,” said Council Member Lander. “But the time for study has passed. NYC DOT has a plan on the table, my constituents voted for it, we put the funding in the budget last year. NYS DOT has had the proposal for more than 9 months. It is time for them to act.”

“I am heartened by the prospect that real improvement can come to this intersection,” said nearby resident Neil Reilly. “I look forward to a safer way for my neighbors to cross this dangerous intersection.”

The delegation delivered 831 petition signatures from Kensington residents to the Governor.

In June, 73-year-old Ngozi Agbim was hit and killed by a semi truck at the intersection of Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway, giving urgency to the community call for safety upgrades.

“It has saddened me that someone died in this tragic accident,” said nearby resident Arlette F. Mathis. “My family and I cross that intersection daily. We fear crossing, because even with the signage, drivers speed onto the Prospect Expressway and seldom yield to pedestrians. Something like this should never happen again.”

There were 36 pedestrian and cyclist injuries and four fatalities there between 1995 and 2008, according to Transportation Alternatives’ CrashStat. Six pedestrians were killed on Ocean Parkway between 2009 and 2011 – more than on any other road in Brooklyn – according to Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s “Most Dangerous Roads for Walking” report.

“Ocean Parkway has long been one of Brooklyn’s deadliest roads for walking,” said Vincent Pellecchia, General Counsel for Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “NYS DOT can make this dangerous road safer by signing onto a traffic safety plan that not only makes sense, but has funding and broad neighborhood support.”

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