November 4, 2015
Dangerous Intersections in Brooklyn: Flatbush Avenue and Avenue H
By Jonathan Damashek
As New York City’s most popular borough, the risk of pedestrian fatalities and injuries is greater than in other boroughs. Last week we began our newest blog series which highlights the most dangerous intersections in Brooklyn for pedestrians. The first article in our series was described the intersection of Eastern Parkway and Utica Avenue. The intersection that we will be describing this week is Flatbush Avenue and Avenue H, which had 7 collisions in 2014.
This intersection troubling to pedestrians because both roads are very wide with Flatbush Avenue being 65 feet wide and Avenue H being 40 feet. Flatbush has two travel lanes going in each direction and Avenue H is a two lane street with one lane going in each direction. On top of the street width, the intersection only has one sign related to pedestrian traffic – a singular “Stop” sign at the northwest corner on a service road. The lack of signage and wide streets is fatal for pedestrians if drivers aren’t fully focused on the road, which is the cause of 25% of pedestrian accidents in Brooklyn.
In August 2013, a man was struck by a tractor trailer as he crossed Flatbush Ave. The man was taken to Kings County Hospital with a serious arm injury but was expected to make a full recovery.
Another factor that makes Flatbush and Avenue H one of the dangerous intersections in Brooklyn is that Flatbush is one of Brooklyn’s busiest arterial streets. Traffic on Flatbush is heavily trafficked road and with a shopping center near the intersection pedestrians are constantly walking around the area.
In 2004, a passenger car collided with a city bus, sending eight people to the hospital. According to reports, the car made a left turn in front of the bus and struck the front left bumper. All of the car’s passengers and the bus riders who where injured in the accident only suffered minor injuries.
Recommendations that have been made to make the intersection safer for pedestrians is to add more cross walks to the intersection, adding pedestrian warning signs on every street corner, and build a raised concrete refuge island for pedestrians as the cross the street. Improvements are being made to the area under Vision Zero, but until all of the proposed projects are completed pedestrians should be aware of their surroundings when at this intersection.