October 28, 2015
The Most Dangerous Intersections in Brooklyn for Pedestrians: Eastern Parkway and Utica Avenue
By Jonathan Damashek
With a population of over 8 million people, pedestrian and automobile collisions are an unfortunate reality. Containing nearly one third of New York City’s population, Brooklyn is the most popular borough. The Department of Transportation reports that an average of 46 pedestrians are killed in Brooklyn every year, the highest of the five boroughs. Problematic intersections have been identified by the DOT under Vision Zero, which plans to end all traffic deaths in New York City.
Continuing in the fashion of our two previous series “The 5 Most Dangerous Intersections in Queens for Car Accidents and Pedestrian Fatalities” and “The 5 Most Dangerous Intersections in the Bronx”, we will be describing some of the dangerous intersections in Brooklyn that present a danger for both pedestrians and drivers.
We start this series with the intersection of Eastern Parkway and Utica Avenue, where there were two pedestrian fatalities and six serious injuries between 2009-2013. The intersection has been recognized by the DOT as one of the 91 areas that need to be improved for pedestrian safety.
In 2013, a 65-year-old woman was crossing the intersection when she was struck by a driver in a hit-and-run. Hit-and-run crashes account for 25% of pedestrian fatalities in Brooklyn. The victim was rushed to Kings County Hospital where she was stabilized.
What makes this intersection so problematic is that the area has had a rapid growth of senior citizens and wide street arterial streets. The width of the road creates a long crossing time for pedestrians. Senior citizens are slower than younger pedestrians which creates a high risk for the elderly.
In 2012, 56-year-old Priscilla Wells was crossing the intersection on her motorized scooter at 12:30 a.m. when she was hit by a Ford Crown Victoria. She was rushed to the hospital but she unfortunately didn’t survive.
The DOT plans to improve pedestrian safety by installing Leading Pedestrian Intervals at street corners to give pedestrians more time to cross the wide streets. Plans are also in order to modify off-peak signal timing on the street lights to control vehicle speed.
The intersection is known to locals as a dangerous one, but until all of the safety implements are put in place we recommend that all pedestrians and cyclists be aware of their surroundings when crossing the street.