NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Pedestrians hit by speeding cars, vehicles crashing – many have said it is like the Wild West on Fourth Avenue in Park Slope, one of the most dangerous streets in Brooklyn.
But as CBS 2’s Don Champion reported Wednesday, new proposals could change how drivers get around.
Truck traffic, car traffic and even foot traffic are booming around the fashionable Park Slope neighborhood.
“A lot more people are coming here,” said Chris Reynolds. “I see a lot of changes in this neighborhood.”
One constant, however, is a concern about the stretch of Fourth Avenue from 15th Street to Atlantic Avenue.
“They speed down here like they’re on the highway,” said Hidie Talavera.
She and her children deal with the traffic daily, and said the road is hard to cross.
“There’s this turning lane, so you’ll think it’s clear, and then all of a sudden a car jumps into the turning lane and you’re like, ‘Oh my God,’” Talavera said.
Too often, that scenario has ended tragically. Between 2007 and 2011 along the 1.5-mile stretch, 53 people were either killed or seriously injured on Fourth Avenue, CBS 2 reported.
The danger is part of the reason for the major redesign project. Farther up Fourth Avenue, a redesign project already took place last year, and it included taking away several turning lanes.
“I used to fly down here myself most of the time,” said Nedal Lulu, who works along the improved stretch of Fourth Avenue.
Lulu said the changes have helped.
Black lines show where crews reduced traffic from three to two lanes, installed pedestrian buffers, and even restricted turns. It is a far cry from what it used to be like.
“One, you would catch all the green lights; second, it was three empty lanes that you could fly through. Now it’s not like that so the traffic has slowed down,” Lulu said.
The city is now hoping the same changes along Fourth Avenue in Park Slope will have the same effect.
“Then you won’t have, like, to run for your life across the street,” Talavera said.
Opponents are worried that the proposed changes will increase traffic. While no final statistics are out yet for the already-improved stretch of Fourth Avenue, the city said accidents are down in the area.
A final vote on the project is expected in June.
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