Street is scene of numerous accidents, Lander says
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A Kensington street that has been a major concern to local residents for years is going to be getting some special attention from the Department of Transportation over the next few months.
The stretch of Albemarle Road between Ocean Parkway and McDonald Avenue is in line for safety improvements, including narrower lanes to encourage drives to slow down, the installation of “No Standing” signs to improve visibility and the installation of two speed humps, officials said.
Councilman Brad Lander (D-Park Slope-Kensington) and civic leaders pushed the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) to take action to increase safety along Albemarle Road, citing the need to reduce the number of accidents on the street.
Speeding is common, according to Lander, who said it causes safety problems for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike. In 2013 alone, there have been 10 crashes on the corridor, including a two-car collision at East 2nd Street earlier this month, the councilman said.
“The community spoke out and Department of Transportation listened,” Lander said. “I am looking forward to walking the safer Albemarle Road next year,” he added.
The call for safety improvements came from a chorus of different groups, including the Albemarle Neighborhood Association and Community Board 12.
The problems on Albemarle Road are so serious, that residents who took part in Lander’s Participatory Budgeting program, in which regular citizens get the chance to vote on how they think a portion of the city’s budget should be spent in their community, chose to ask the city for safety measures to be installed on that street.
“This has been a decade long fight. We look forward to the implementation of these devices in the springtime,” said Larry Jayson, president of the Albemarle Neighborhood Association.
The dangers associated with Albemarle Road have been apparent for so many years,” said neighborhood resident Mike Rosenbluth, who proposed safety upgrades for the street through the Participatory Budgeting process. “It's rewarding to see the Kensington neighborhood's efforts reaping results!”
More than 100 neighbors filled out an Albemarle Road safety survey circulated by Lander during the summer. The responses showed that speeding, cars not yielding to pedestrians and the disobeying of stop signs were among the biggest safety concerns on the street. Lander turned the information over to DOT to assist the agency’s review process.
“This is an important victory for residents in Kensington, who have come to Participatory Budgeting neighborhood assemblies for the last several years and noted Albemarle Road as an area that needs traffic calming measures,” said Rachael Fauss, member of the Participatory Budgeting District Committee for District 39 and Kensington resident.
“With these new improvements, the community will be safer and know that its voice has been heard,” Fauss said.
Residents will be able to learn more about the DOT’s plan at a Community Board 12 meeting in January. The “no standing” signs have already been installed, Lander said.