Fall 2003, p.11

Reclaiming the Streets
Community Demands Safer Grand Army Plaza Crossings

The current design of Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn exposes park users to dangerous speeding and reckless drivers. This design is especially dangerous for the many families with small children who regularly visit the park.

The current design of Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn exposes park users to dangerous speeding and reckless drivers. This design is especially dangerous for the many families with small children who regularly visit the park.

At the epicenter of the pedestrian disaster called Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn is the intersection of the Plaza and Flatbush Avenue. The intensely busy crossing consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous in New York City, averaging more than 200 crashes of all kinds a year. Unfortunately, crossing hazardous Flatbush Avenue at that intersection is unavoidable for the many people walking from the main Brooklyn Public Library to Prospect Park or from Prospect Heights to the park.

Brooklyn resident and T.A. member, Mike Dowd, and his group, the Prospect Heights Parents Association, have partnered with Transportation Alternatives to do something about the atrocious conditions at the Flatbush Avenue crossing. In July, our groups gathered 1,500 signatures in five hours on a petition demanding a safer crossing for pedestrians. The DOT says that it is listening. The agency promises to change the traffic signal timing at the intersection to give pedestrians more time to cross as well as to build up the pedestrian island at Flatbush Avenue.

According to T.A. members and activist Jeff Prant, "Grand Army Plaza is the culmination of 50 years of city planning that puts automobiles first."

Fixing the historic mistakes made there will take time, money and political will.

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