Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Borough Park, Traffic islands damming up traffic on Ft. Hamilton Parkway to be removed
Pedestrian islands in the middle of a busy Borough Park street that created road rage among drivers are finally getting towed away by the city.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Borough Park) announced Tuesday that the islands, placed in the middle of Fort Hamilton Parkway from 45th to 47th Sts. last year to help seniors who couldn't cross before the light changed, are getting the hook.
Residents and public officials said the islands got in the way of ambulances and fire trucks that couldn't squeeze through traffic en route to emergencies.
"This was something that was ill-advised from the very beginning," said Hikind.
City Transportation Department officials were expected to announce a plan to replace the islands with painted safety lanes at the Community Board 12 meeting last night.
The new plan calls for the removal of the three concrete divisions as well as half of the island at New Utrecht Ave. and 45th St.
"This is an example of how working with the community can address our shared concerns for the safety of our most vulnerable road users," said DOT Spokesman Seth Solomonow.
Most residents in the area said they aren't sad to see the islands go.
"It's not even that big a street," said Esther Friedman, 50, who blames the islands for almost causing her to crash into another car this year.
Fort Hamilton Parkway fish store manager Sam Greenstein, 26, said he spends about an hour circling the block for a parking spot every morning, and he worries about his customers getting parking fines because the islands took out parking space.
Hikind said if the DOT didn't ditch the islands, he was going to bring a suit against the city.
"It took them a while, but at the end of the day, they did the right thing," Hikind said.