The Department of Transportation (DOT) outlined numerous planned safety improvements on Myrtle Avenue between St. Nicholas and Central Avenues in Ridgewood and Glendale during the Community Board 5 Transportation and Public Transit Committees meeting on April 23.
The stretch of Myrtle Avenue was targeted by the DOT’s Vision Zero program, aimed at preventing traffic deaths and injuries. The problem stems from what the proposal deems to be the tract’s “multi-legged intersections” or the unwieldy corners and pedestrian crossings that form Myrtle’s irregular angle to it cross streets.
The city has reported 148 injuries and 14 people killed or severely injured on this one-mile stretch of Myrtle Avenue between 2013 and 2017.
This project includes the installation of four painted curb extensions at three intersections, two additional crosswalks, and left turn traffic calming along the entire corridor.
These traffic alterations are intended to create shorter crossings for pedestrians and encourage slower turns for vehicles, reducing conflicts.
The proposed intersections include St. Nicholas Avenue, Putnam Avenue, Seneca Avenue, Onderdonk Avenue, Summerfield Street and Central Avenue.
At the meeting, the proposed changes met resistance over their elimination of five parking spaces along the corridor. Several residents expressed concern that this will have a detrimental impact on local businesses that rely on car-bound patrons.
A DOT representative at the meeting responded that the agency had taken this into consideration in their plans and attempted to minimize the parking loss wherever possible.