Curb extensions, countdown clocks and new streetlights among the amenities
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Bay Ridge's Fourth Avenue should be a lot easier, and safer, to cross after August.
Starting in August, the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) will be installing a number of safety features along the Fourth Avenue corridor in Bay Ridge, according to Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann, who was briefed on the coming changes.
The DOT plans to extend the curbs farther out into the street to reduce the distance pedestrians have to cross to get to the other side, install new street lights at certain intersections, enhance crosswalks on angled streets and install countdown clocks, among other steps.
“DOT decided to incorporate a number of suggestions our board made last October,” Beckmann told the Brooklyn Eagle. DOT originally came to the board last fall to describe safety features the agency planned to bring to the avenue as part of the Fourth Avenue re-design project, an ambitious program to enhance the avenue to make it safer for pedestrians. Former borough president Marty Markowitz first came up with the proposal to enhance Fourth Avenue a few years ago and approached DOT.
Fourth Avenue runs from downtown Brooklyn all the way to the Bay Ridge waterfront. Markowitz envisioned a grand boulevard safe for families with young children to cross and urged DOT to install safety features all along the avenue from Atlantic Avenue to Shore Road.
After Community Board 10 offered suggestions to DOT in the fall of 2013, agency officials went back to study the ideas.
Earlier this month, DOT contacted Beckmann to fill her in on the final decision.
“Curb extensions were studied along the entire stretch of Fourth Avenue and DOT will install 11 curb extensions to slow fast turns near three subways, four near schools and one near a senior center,” Beckmann told the community board at its June 16 meeting.
On Fourth Avenue and Shore Road, crosswalks will be upgraded and curbs will be extended to reduce the distance pedestrians will have to cross.
“A concrete extension will be installed at Bay Ridge Parkway and at 76th Street and nine painted curbs at 84th, 82nd, 80th, 78th, 73rd, Ovington, 67th Street and Shore Road. The anticipated parking space loss is estimated at 14 spaces,” she said.
“Countdown signals will be installed at intersections along Fourth Avenue. And improved street lighting will be added,” Beckmann reported to the community board.
On Fourth Avenue and 86th Street, new bus lanes will be painted to offer higher visibility and new “No Stopping Anytime” signs will be installed. On the next street, Fourth Avenue and 85th Street, DOT will paint new striping to fan south crosswalk to connect to southwest corner and R train subway stairs. A secondary entrance to the R train’s 86th Street subway station is located there. A few blocks away, on Fourth Avenue and 82nd Street, the agency plans to extend the southeast curb to shorten crossing time.