NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The city is trying to make a dangerous five-way intersection in Brooklyn safer for pedestrians and motorists.
Five streets meet at the Brooklyn end of the Jackie Robinson Parkway, where officials said collisions have left 373 people hurt in the last five years.
“This intersection is far, far more than just a highway ramp,” Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said. “It’s been known to the residents of East New York and Bushwick as one of the hairiest intersections in Brooklyn.”
The city has eliminated some turns, adjusted timing and added clearer signals for drivers.
“By banning left turns from Jamaica Avenue onto Bushwick we’re able to give more green light time to vehicles traveling on the Jackie towards Jamaica Avenue,” Trottenberg said. “With the reconfiguration vehicles no longer block through traffic in the center lane and can move through the intersection more seamlessly.”
New crosswalks and a median have been added for pedestrians.
Councilman Rafael Espinal calls it a win-win.
“Pedestrians were complaining they had nowhere to cross, drivers were complaining that the lights weren’t changing quick enough and they didn’t know when to turn and that’s all been resolved,” Espinal said.
But some pedestrians and drivers are skeptical.
“Speed of the lights doesn’t really matter because it’s all about volume and how much the roads can handle,” a driver named Joe said, adding that bike lanes and medians just squeeze the traffic.
“You have your light but they don’t care they just pass,” a pedestrian, named Hector said.
“I was walking past here the other day and a car almost hit me when it was my turn to walk,” said pedestrian Lauren. “There’s a lot going on.”
The redesign is part of the de Blasio administration’s Vision Zero initiative to reduce traffic fatalities.