Take action for a safer Church Ave & Ocean Parkway

Take action for a safer Church Ave & Ocean Parkway

One week ago, there was an awful crash at Ocean Parkway and Church Avenue, near the entrance to the Prospect Expressway, which took like the life of our neighbor, Ngozi Agbim. The news was truly heartbreaking. We’ve been working for years to fix that intersection. But we were too late to prevent the tragedy that took Ngozi’s life.

Please help make sure we make this intersection safer before there are any more tragedies there. Sign our petition to New York State DOT today.

On Friday, I joined Kensington residents and transportation advocates to honor the life of Ngozi and call for safety improvements where she was killed crossing the street. Eugene Agbhimson, Ngozi’s brother-in-law, shared very moving remarks about Ngozi’s life. He concluded: “Her death, like her life, is now a beacon – a rallying point for change, change of the dangerous intersection that took her life.”

Making changes to improve safety at this intersection has long been a top community priority. Last year, in our participatory budgeting vote, over 600 neighbors voted to allocate $200,000 to install a pedestrian median (between the north-bound and south-bound lanes, on the north side of the intersection), to make it safer to cross the nine lanes of traffic. New York City DOT has signed off on the community’s proposal and is ready to move forward.

Unfortunately, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYS DOT) is blocking those safety improvements. Click here to tell them to approve the plan for a safer crossing.

Instead, NYS DOT has proposed eliminating the crosswalk entirely, even though it’s an important connection between bus lines, schools, and neighborhoods. The State’s rejection of this proposal is unacceptable. Without the crosswalk, residents would have to walk a nearly a block out of their way and wait for three crossing signals instead of one. Cars would speed by even faster. And many pedestrians would certainly still cross there anyway, far more exposed to speed, danger, and future tragedies.

We must act now to do all we can to prevent future tragedies. Please join me in calling on New York State DOT to approve our plan and make clear that our neighborhood is not a highway. Sign our petition now.

This is not about pointing fingers or assigning blame – the NYPD is conducting an investigation to determine what happened. We appreciate the increased attention of the NYPD Crash Investigation Squad to deadly crashes. But we’ve long known this intersection is dangerous.

While pedestrian and traffic fatalities are down in recent years, we have a long way to go, and every death is a wrenching loss. I am committed to keep working for street safety improvements, better enforcement, and improved crash investigations—from Hicks Street to 4th Avenue to Ocean Parkway—until the day when we reduce traffic deaths to zero.

Thank you to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Transportation Alternatives, the Albemarle Neighborhood Association, the Participatory Budgeting volunteers, and many other neighborhood residents for their advocacy. Together we can make our neighborhoods safer for pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists alike.

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