November 18, 2015

Dangerous Intersections in Brooklyn for Pedestrians: Atlantic Avenue and Clinton Street

By Jonathan Damashek

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We near the end of this five-part series on the most dangerous intersections in Brooklyn for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Last week we featured the intersection of Avenue H and Nostrand Avenue where there were 7 collisions in 2014. This week we dangerous intersections in Brooklynwill describe the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Clinton Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

The small 40 block neighborhood of Cobble Hill first gained recognition in 1969 when it was the first historic district designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee, but today the area is known for its high pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

In 2014, 48-year-old Martha Atwater was walking in front of a coffee shop when a man lost control of his 2011 Honda Ridgeline and jumped the curb. After being pinned under the vehicle she was rushed to Long Island College Hospital where she died.

This intersection is so perilous to pedestrians because of the arterial streets which encourage speeding. According to the Department of Transportation arterial roads make up only 15 percent of the city streets but represent 60 percent of pedestrian deaths in New York City.

In August of this year, 66-year old Muyassar Moustapha, owner of Cobble Hill’s Oriental Pastry & Grocery, was crossing the street at night when he was struck by a Mercedes-Benz. He was pronounced dead at the scene when paramedics arrived. The 26-year-old driver was driving over the speed limit when he hit Moustapha.

Another factor that makes this one of the most dangerous intersections in Brooklyn are the long crosswalks. The affluent neighborhood has many children and elderly who find it difficult to cross the street between lights. The amount of pedestrians in the area is also high due to the area having many restaurants and popular stores.

Between 2008 and 2012, 13 pedestrians were killed on Atlantic Avenue. In response to these deaths and other pedestrian fatalities, mayor de Blasio implemented Vision Zero. Whose goal is to end all traffic related deaths in New York City.

Atlantic Avenue was the first road to have a reduced speed limit, dropping from 30 mph to 25 mph. The DOT will re-time the traffic lights so that drivers who follow the speed limit will hit more green lights than drivers who are speeding.

Even with these changes to the area, pedestrians should remain cautious of their surroundings.