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Will the New Pedestrian Islands on PPW Make it Safer to Cross the Street?

The DOT will begin construction on April 23, installing raised spaces designated for pedestrians at nine intersections along the bike lane.

Next Monday, the Department of Transportation will begin to to help make crossing two lanes of vehicular traffic and two lanes of bicycle traffic on Prospect Park West easier.

Craig Hammerman, the district manager of Community Board 6 said that the new additions are a “necessary component of a plan” that would help “improve pedestrian safety further.”

The islands will not change the street’s or the bike lane’s configuration, but rather take pedestrian areas that already exist and raise them, add some new trees and relocate the pedestrian crossing signals onto the islands themselves. This is meant to enhance pedestrian safety and improve pedestrian crossings by elevating them—giving people better sightlines in order to see car and bike traffic.

Also, cars will not be able to park in pedestrian areas anymore, so they will not obscure people’s vision while trying to get to or leave the park.

The islands will be placed at Carroll Street, Garfield Place, First Street, Third Street, Fifth Street, Seventh Street, Ninth Street, Eleventh Street and Fourteenth Street.

What do you think? Will crossing Prospect Park West be easy to cross as a pedestrian? Make sure to vote in the poll below and if you have any suggestions write them in the comments section.

Chicken Underwear April 17, 2012 at 10:49 AM
They would not be necessary if car some owners would not store their private property where ever they thought it was convenient. I have taken some photos of their selfish behavior over the past year. http://whatyourdonotknowbecauseyouarenotme.blogspot.com/2011/05/why-we-need-raised-pedestrian-islands.html
lxfan April 17, 2012 at 01:40 PM
the fact that cars don't speed down PPW as fast as they used to makes it safer than it used to be without the bike lanes. Why are people so resistant to change? there are a lot more pedestrians hit by cars in this city than by bikes. As a pedestrian, I get cut off by far more cars every day than by bike riders.
Michael Padwee April 17, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Pedestrian islands would make it a little safewr to cross PPW, but what would really help would be red lights for bikers, instead of yellow lights that mean nothing to them, and real enforcement of the law!
AR April 17, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Typically, kids and others in a "hurry" will dash across. Some bikers will continue to ride at a fast pace and ignore lights, as they do on non-designated roads. People pushing strollers have them in front, also increasing risk. There is a madness to the bike plan, in general. So many lanes on various streets incorporate bike lanes into auto lanes. Simple math (sanity)...two into one doesn't go.
AR April 17, 2012 at 02:29 PM
In addition, I still can't reconcile the redundancy of bike lanes, allowing the one running parallel in the park.
Scott Kochman April 17, 2012 at 02:41 PM
One sure way to make it safer to cross Prospect Park West, is to look before you cross. However, since Mayor Bloomberg and Janette Sadik Khan won't allow that, it will never be safe to cross.
AR April 17, 2012 at 02:53 PM
"Son of Robert Moses"?
Patti April 17, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Sure, I think it will be safer for the pedestrian to be able to use the raised area. They do need to look both ways before crossing (I'm sure Mayor Bloomberg & Janette Sadik Khan won't mind) isn't that what your mother taught you.....And, bicyclists, car drivers need to obey the rules - and love that person pushing a stroller - let them cross!!!
Rick Oshea April 17, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Spoken like a true biker. That's funny, I get cut off by a lot more bikers. For the most part cars stop for lights. Because they actually get ticketed if they break the law.
AR April 17, 2012 at 09:42 PM
That's a lot of stuff that has to go right, Patty. Otherwise...
Kristen April 18, 2012 at 02:08 AM
On PPW cars stop at the red lights, cyclists only have yellow warning lights, so they don't stop. Instead of spending the $$ on raised islands - move the two way protected bike lanes into the park, and enforce stopping at red lights.
nikka kowidge April 18, 2012 at 03:10 AM
I think it will make crossing the street safer and easier. Also, a few more trees growing in Brooklyn's always a good thing!
jrvicecommander April 18, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Good to know that some taxdollars will go towards making the city stop feeling like a concrete petri dish and give some protection from the worst drivers in nyc- the cabbies!
AR April 18, 2012 at 01:34 PM
It appears to me that the DOT has continued to "tweak" bike lanes. I don't find, more often than not, these adjustments much of an improvement, not to mention the continual and additional costs involved. Bloomberg certainly appears to be doing a "Robert Moses".
Arthur April 18, 2012 at 01:47 PM
This is great. They will make the street safer, allow a little more visibility for pedestrians to see over and around parked cars, and prevent trucks from parking on them. A win for safety and common sense!
Ben April 18, 2012 at 07:27 PM
The bike "lane" in the park is for recreation/exercise. The one in the streets is for commuting. There is no redundancy.
Ben April 18, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Rick, you are missing the point. By eliminating a lane of vehicular traffic, all cars are driving slower on PPW. I drive it regularly. There was never any need for three car lanes. Anecdotally, I have noticed much less double parking as well. The right lane used to be choked up with cars.
AR April 20, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Ben writes (above): Ben 5:37 pm on Thursday, April 19, 2012 The bike "lane" in the park is for recreation/exercise. The one in the streets is for commuting. There is no redundancy. By the above logic, the DOT should provide "special" designated routes for recreational drivers vs. commuters. There appears to be endless tweaking, similar to throwing good money after bad. Practically speaking, it is what is being done, every change costs. There's a blanket insanity to flooding the streets with bike lanes. Every time I drive where cars and bike share the same lane, I can't help to think it's an accident coming, sooner or later. I am pro bikes and bike lanes, would seriously appreciate a stopping of "shooting from the hip" and having to rethink as a result of someone getting hurt or worse.

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