Park Slope’s Ninth Street redesign almost done, nearly 6 months after fatal crash

Officials say protected bike lanes and pedestrian buffers will be in place by mid-September.

The redesign of Ninth Street in Park Slope is under way, with city officials saying new protected bike lanes and safer intersections will be completed by mid-September.

Following the fatal March car crash that killed two small children, residents and advocates pressured the city to change what they described as a dangerously wide, busy street.

The redesign includes protected bicycle lanes on both sides of Ninth Street for nearly one mile — six avenues from Prospect Park West to Third Avenue — as well as new pedestrian buffers and loading restrictions in an attempt to limit double parking.

“To say the March crash in Park Slope hit close to home would be an understatement,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. “As a parent who has walked with my children across Ninth Street countless times, I want to thank the DOT planners, designers and now work crews who are delivering this better, safer street. We cannot undo that terrible afternoon five months ago, but these safety improvements will help prevent future tragic crashes on this busy street.”

Members of de Blasio’s administration toured the street on Thursday morning as part of the mayor’s weeklong “City Hall in Your Borough” stay in Brooklyn.

The city considers Ninth Street a “high-crash corridor.” There were 12 people killed or seriously injured on the road between 2012 and 2016, ranking it in the top third of Brooklyn streets.

Driver Dorothy Bruns, 44, allegedly barreled through the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Ninth Street on March 5, killing 4-year-old Abigail Blumenstein and 1-year-old Joshua Lew, who was in a stroller that was dragged halfway down the block by the car.

Their mothers, 33-year-old Lauren Lew and 34-year-old Ruth Ann Blumenstein, a Tony-award winning actress better known by her stage name Ruthie Ann Miles, also were injured in the crash. Blumenstein, who was pregnant at the time, also lost her unborn child in the crash.

In May, Bruns was charged with two counts each of second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment, three counts of assault, and one count of reckless driving.

“We remain deeply committed to Vision Zero, to that day when no New Yorkers are killed in traffic crashes,” said local Councilman Brad Lander in a statement. “We must keep working every day to get there, through design changes like this one, and also through smarter enforcement to get reckless drivers off our streets before they kill.”

Vincent Barone