Dangerous Greenpoint intersection to get safety improvements
by Lisa A. Fraser
Mar 28, 2012 | 1420 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) is hoping to make Nassau Avenue and McGuinness Boulevard a little bit safer come 2013.

The DDC last week began work on a “neckdown” project at the intersection, where, according to transit advocates, five people have been killed since 1995.

According to a DDC spokesperson, the department plans to increase the width of the sidewalk at the intersection by building out the curb at the northeast and southwest corners, making the distance to cross McGuinness shorter for pedestrians.

“It's a traffic-calming measure that would make the cars slow down more before turning,” said Craig Chin of the DDC.

Currently, Nassau Avenue has two lanes in each direction. Chin stated that the project would retain the two lanes on the avenue, but noted that McGuinness would be narrowed because of the increased sidewalk.

The neckdown project is part of the larger Nassau Avenue Reconstruction Project led by DDC, which runs along Nassau Avenue from Manhattan Avenue to Apollo Street.

The capital construction project aims to make street level and below-the-surface improvements, such as replacing existing infrastructure of water mains, catch basins, and traffic signals, as well as improve drainage and reduce flooding.

The project will also offer new granite curbs, ADA-compliant pedestrian ramps, and new street lighting.

Chin said the entire project is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2013.

The neckdown work comes on the heels of the seventh annual Memorial Bike Ride and Walk, held all across the city last Sunday. In Greenpoint, many bicyclists and pedestrians mourned the loss of fellow neighborhood cyclists, who died in vehicle collisions.

According to studies conducted by Transportation Alternatives, between 1995 and 2009, there were a total of 36 crashes between pedestrians and cars at the Nassau and McGuinness intersection. There were 36 injuries and three deaths.

During the same time period, there were three crashes between bicyclists and cars. Those crashes resulted in one injury and two fatalities.

“We strongly support an expanded sidewalk on Nassau Avenue and McGuinness Boulevard to provide better visibility for pedestrians and motorists,” said Michael Murphy, communications director for Transportation Alternatives. “It's also critical for the NYPD to target the epidemic of dangerous speeding on McGuinness Boulevard to protect pedestrians.”

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