Monday, July 26, 2010

Safety Improvements?

For weeks the Cobble Hill Association has been vocal about the need for dramatic safety improvements to the Columbia/Furman/Atlantic intersection that provides access to the the newly opened Pier 6 waterfront park.  The Dept of Transportation heard our concerns shared amongst many civic groups and electeds officials in the area and agreed to make short term changes and plan long term improvements.

Our friends at the Brooklyn Heights Blog caught a sight of this sign, one of the short term changes that should tame traffic and remind drivers they need to yield to pedestrians and cyclists.  But they also noticed driving behavior has remained the same. And realistically, does the 'NEW' text go far enough at all? The driving laws of NYC already require
  • When making a turn, yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk;
  • At a red light or STOP sign, come to complete stop before you get to the crosswalk;
  • Violation of these laws could cost you a $100 fine and 3 points on your license.
New York City already leads the nation in the number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes and sadly over one-half of pedestrian fatalities occur at intersections with traffic signals. Perhaps this  cautionary message simply gets lost amongst the half dozen other signs posted. Bigger, bolder changes like visually bold textures or raised crosswalks are needed in the street, coupled with neckdowns on the sidewalks to shorten crossing distances.

The Cobble Hill Association remains committed to having a safe approach to our neighborhood's waterfront. We encourage all residents to contact Community Board 6 and area councilman Brad Lander about this problematic intersection. And if you have ideas or specific concerns you'd like to share with us, drop us a line at

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