With the neighborhood weary of crossing the street following the deadly accident, Assemblyman Joseph Lentol announced that he is focusing on bringing red light and speed cameras and additional safety to the boulevard.
“Everyone knows McGuinness Boulevard is treacherous,” Lentol said. “Last year, I voted to approve new locations for speed cameras in school zones, and McGuinness Boulevard by PS 34 should be first on the list to get one.”
Lentol added that he has been fighting for traffic safety measures along McGuiness Boulevard for more than five years, but hasn’t gotten results.
“Residents should be able to walk to and from the stores on Manhattan Avenue, the G train and wherever else they may be going without putting their lives in danger by simply crossing the street,” he said.
Greenpoint resident Irena Spencer crosses McGuinness Boulevard every day, often with her children, and said that pedestrians should use extra precaution when crossing the street.
“Traffic at any time of the day is quite dangerous and you have to pay attention when you cross the road,” Spencer said. “I would certainly not trust my child to cross by themselves.”
Spencer added that the problem is so bad that the boulevard needs a pedestrian crossing bridge to keep the residents safe.
“It’s also a concern for the elderly and anyone crossing the street,” she said. “I think some kind of underpass or overpass bridge would be safer for pedestrians.”
Councilman Stephen Levin noted that his North Brooklyn constituents all agree that McGuinness is the, “most dangerous street in the neighborhood,” and that something has to be done.
“We have requested safety improvements at McGuinness Boulevard for years and our community cannot wait any longer,” Levin said. “For the safety of our community and to avoid future tragedies, it is imperative that traffic-calming measures be installed on McGuinness Boulevard.”
With new calls for additional safety measures, the Department of Transportation (DOT) responded that they too agree that the boulevard is dangerous and that they would continue to seek more ways to address the community’s concerns.
“Safety is DOT’s first priority, and the agency has been working with local community groups and elected officials on this location and is reviewing the feasibility of enhancements along McGuinness Boulevard, including the potential for left-turn signals and parking restrictions at intersections to enhance pedestrian visibility,” said a spokesperson with the DOT.
The DOT representative noted numerous attempts at creating a safer corridor since 2011, including “improving markings” to narrow lanes, pedestrian countdown signals along McGuinness Boulevard between Freeman and Bayard streets, and re-envisioning the intersection at Nassau Avenue.
“Sidewalk extensions at the intersection of Nassau and McGuinness were installed with the support of the community board,” the DOT representative said. “The agency is also pursuing plans for a dedicated bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge that is expected to calm traffic along the southbound McGuinness corridor.”