Says drivers unaware speed limit is lower north of Church Ave.
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The speed limit on the Prospect Expressway is 45 miles per hour but it drops to 30 mph north of Church Avenue. Drivers who don’t see the signs warning of the lower speed limit are often slapped with summonses.
The problem might be that the speed limit signs aren’t big enough for drivers to see, Councilman David Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Kensington-Bensonhurst) said.
Greenfield has requested that the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) install larger, clearer signage along the southbound Prospect Expressway to alert drivers that the speed limit drops north of Church Avenue. This will help prevent drivers from unfairly being ticketed as soon as the speed limit drops, according to Greenfield, who said it will also improve safety by encouraging drivers to slow down to a safe speed before reaching Ocean Parkway.
The Prospect Expressway is a state-owned highway, but the city DOT is responsible for the maintenance of the portion of the roadway.
“This is an inexpensive step that the city can take in order to improve safety for pedestrians and reduce the number of drivers who unfairly receive speeding tickets along the busy stretch of the Prospect Expressway heading towards Church Avenue. I have heard from many drivers who did not even realize they were speeding because of the lack of clear signage indicating that the speed limit drops sharply at that location,” Greenfield said. “By simply installing new, larger signs, we can help reduce the speed of traffic while at the same time preventing drivers from going through the frustrating experience of receiving a ‘gotcha’ ticket.”
Better signage would help reduce incidents of speeding through the busy Church Avenue intersection, is one of the most dangerous crossings in Brooklyn for pedestrians, Greenfield said.
The intersection is slated for safety upgrades by DOT. A 73-year-old woman was struck and killed last year. The New York Daily News reported on June 24 that Ngozi Agbin, the former head librarian at LaGuardia Community College, was crossing the Prospect Expressway at Church Avenue when she was struck by a tractor trailer. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 2.3 mile long Prospect Expressway, constructed under the supervision of Robert Moses, was built between 1953 and 1962 to link central Brooklyn with Interstate 278 and the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, according to the New York Parks Department’s website.
The Prospect Expressway has been on Greenfield’s radar for months. The councilman had previously requested that the New York State DOT look into installing a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane along the Prospect Expressway to speed up travel times for Manhattan-bound drivers heading north to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
The HOV lane, coupled with the signage improvements, will increase safety, Greenfield said.
“This is one of the busiest and most frustrating stretches of road for drivers and pedestrians, so we need to continue investigating ways to make it safer and less congested. I will continue to work with the city and state agencies on simple, common-sense upgrades like this on behalf of everyone who travels along the Prospect Expressway and Ocean Parkway,” Greenfield said.