FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #16-101
December 2, 2016
Scott Gastel/Gloria Chin (212)839-4850
Vision Zero: NYC DOT Unveils New Pedestrian Plaza at Myrtle-Wyckoff, Transforming the Hub of Ridgewood and Bushwick
New plaza along Wyckoff Avenue will serve as a neighborhood gathering place outside busy L and M station and near vital commercial corridors
At a high-priority Vision Zero intersection on the border of Brooklyn and Queens, safer configuration will slightly reroute MTA buses while adding new street signs, traffic control signs and street markings
The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today unveiled a new pedestrian plaza completed at the intersection of Wyckoff Avenue, Myrtle Avenue, and Palmetto Street -- three busy streets on and near the Queens/Brooklyn border. The project, completed by in-house crews, includes major pedestrian safety enhancements. During the period from 2010-2014, the busy 6-legged intersection surrounding the Myrtle-Wyckoff station had been the site of 38 serious traffic injuries and three fatalities.
DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia and Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Keith Bray were joined by Council member Antonio Reynoso, Brooklyn Community Board 4 Board Member Nancy Liao, Queens Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano, Myrtle Avenue BID Executive Director Ted Renz, and members of Families for Safe Streets to unveil the newly implemented safety measures at the new plaza. They were also joined by the family of Ella Kottick Bandes, who was killed in 2013 at the intersection.
“Residents of Brooklyn and Queens can join hands across the border between our boroughs today to celebrate this great new two-borough pedestrian plaza,” said Borough Commissioners Garcia and Bray. “This plaza will not only bring a central gathering place to the border of our two boroughs for years to come, the safety changes around the plaza will provide a safer passage for tens of thousands of daily commuters. Under Vision Zero, we are always looking for ways to make our streets safer -- and sometimes the best way of doing that is to return that space to the community.”
As part of Vision Zero, the DOT implemented the following safety improvements at the intersection of Palmetto Street, Myrtle Avenue and Wyckoff Avenue:
- Created new pedestrian plaza on Wyckoff Avenue (which serves as the border line of Ridgewood, Queens and Bushwick, Brooklyn), between Gates Avenue and Myrtle Avenue
- Converted Wyckoff Avenue to one-way southbound from Myrtle Avenue to Madison Street
- Widened crosswalks to match widened paint-based sidewalk extensions
- Installed flexible bollards
- Reconfigured signal timing, increasing pedestrian crossing time
- Installed new traffic control and curb regulation signage
- Installed new road markings
“These enhancements will do a great deal to improve pedestrian safety along this section of the Queens/Brooklyn border and will help further the City’s ongoing Vision Zero initiative to protect all those who use our roadways,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “I commend Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Department of Transportation for implementing these important safety enhancements.”
“The Myrtle/Palmetto/Wyckoff intersection has long been one of the most challenging crossings in our borough, and commuters of all kinds have long deserved a street redesign that prioritizes safety,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Thanks to the leadership of the de Blasio administration and the doggedness of community advocates, Bushwick now has a pedestrian plaza we can be proud of, as well as meaningful traffic calming measures that protect our children and families.”
“DOT’s plan for Myrtle, Wyckoff and Palmetto will make the intersection safer for pedestrians and motorists, alike,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez. “I applaud the City and Community Board 5 for moving forward with this innovative solution, which will save lives.”
“Today we come together to commemorate the advocacy of Ridgewood and Bushwick residents for safer streets at the Myrtle and Wyckoff intersection,” said City Councilmember Antonio Reynoso. “I would like to thank the Dept. of Transportation and Community Board 5 for their diligence in making this project a priority. As a Council Member who fully supports the Vision Zero initiative and is a representative in the borough with the most dangerous corridors/intersections as designated by DOT, I stay firm in my support for all future plans and safety measures.“
This project follows extensive community outreach for the area and is part of a capital project as part of Vision Zero. Wyckoff Avenue is in a Vision Zero priority area, while the intersection of Palmetto Street and Myrtle Avenue is a Vision Zero priority intersection. Additionally, both Myrtle Avenue and Palmetto Street are Vision Zero priority corridors.
For more information about the work of DOT, please visit www.nyc.gov/dot.