Eric Adams says it’s time to give Flatbush Avenue the Prospect Park West treatment.
The Brooklyn borough president is rallying support for the city to calm traffic and install bike lanes on the east side of Prospect Park. He penned a letter to the DOT, dated April 22, requesting the city to study a Vision Zero redesign for Flatbush Avenue, between Grand Army Plaza and Empire Boulevard.
“Given the success of cycling infrastructure in reducing crashes, decreasing sidewalk riding, and improving safety for all users along the Prospect Park West corridor, I see no reason why similar infrastructure should not be considered for all roads abutting Prospect Park, in particular Flatbush Avenue,” Adams wrote in the letter.
In its current form, the Flatbush Avenue park corridor maintains four lanes of traffic and two parking lanes. Adams, in his letter, wrote that the street serves as a “speedway for motor vehicles in an area where there are numerous pedestrian and cultural institutions.”
The borough president contributed $500,000 in fiscal year 2016 to the Prospect Park Alliance for a project to restore the fence and sidewalks on the park side of Flatbush Avenue. The money also helped bring new entrances to the park from the avenue. Adams said that traffic calming would complement that work.
“We are aware of the Borough President’s request and we are reviewing it,” said DOT Spokesman Scott Gastel in an email. “We thank him for his interest in bike infrastructure and his continued support for Vision Zero.”
In 2011, the DOT installed two-way protected bike lanes on Prospect Park West, not without controversy, reducing three lanes of traffic to two. On the Flatbush side, cycling advocates are throwing their support behind Adams’ pitch.
“We commend Borough President Adams for his leadership in advocating commonsense safety improvements along this important corridor,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, in a statement. “With more and more people biking in this area of Brooklyn and around the five boroughs, and in the era of Vision Zero, it is imperative that the city move quickly to protect everyone who uses dangerous streets like Flatbush Avenue.”