Brooklyn Neighborhood Advocates Call For Safety Improvements in Greenpoint After DJ Death
On Sunday, the British-born local DJ Solange Raulston, better known around Brooklyn as DJ Reverend Soul, was killed riding her bike at the intersection of Nassau Avenue and McGuinness Boulevard. That spot was the site of 34 accidents involving bicyclists or pedestrians and two fatalities in the years spanning 1995 and 2005, according to the area's Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG), "making it the most dangerous intersection in North Brooklyn." Now, NAG and Transportation Alternatives are using Raulston's death as a rallying cry for reform:
- The Department of Design and Construction is using federal stimulus funds to reconstruct Nassau Avenue along most of its length by 2012, but safety improvements to the intersection with McGuiness Boulevard are not a significant feature of the plan.
T.A. and NAG are calling for additional traffic calming measures that take into account the high number of pedestrians, cyclists and trucks that traverse the intersection, including:
* Extend the curbs into the street on all corners to slow turning vehicles and shorten crossings for pedestrians
* Install wider refuge medians on McGuiness Boulevard
* Open sight lines at all corners by removing one parking spot on each corner of McGuiness Boulevard
* Give more walk time to pedestrians crossing McGuiness Boulevard
TA Executive Director Paul Steely White goes on to say: "Seldom does a week pass without flowers being laid in someone's memory at this dangerous crossing. No one should underrate the necessity of making the most dangerous intersection in North Brooklyn safer. Now is the time for the City to act."
Cold comfort for Raulston's family, but moving a recalcitrant city transportation department to make safety improvements in the lawless reaches of Greenpoint streets would be a legacy to be grateful for. Given that they're ripping it up anyway, there is no good reason for this not to happen.