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Dangerous Ocean Parkway slated for traffic safety improvements

An important source of information about traffic accidents, dangerous intersections and badly maintained streets is DNAinfo.com. This online magazine focuses on New York City's neighborhoods in detail, and the publication usually contains a story or two about traffic safety and how the Department of Transportation and local Community Councils address problems.

For example, on January 19, DNAinfo.com published an article about pedestrian accidents in Kensington, a highly diverse neighborhood in Brooklyn. D NAinfo.com regularly analyzes collision data provided by the New York Police Department. The most recent review focuses on the ten most dangerous intersections in this neighborhood.

According to the article, the most dangerous street in Kensington for pedestrians is Ocean Parkway, a six-lane, limited access thoroughfare that bisects the neighborhood. This blog has previously described the dangers that this road presents to local residents; in July 2013, this blog described the large number of motor vehicle accidents on Ocean Parkway.

It turns out that Ocean Parkway is also dangerous for pedestrians. According to the DNAinfo.com article, 48 pedestrians have been injured on Ocean Boulevard in the past two years. This represents one-third of all pedestrian injuries in the neighborhood.

The most dangerous intersection on this very dangerous road is Ocean Parkway and 18th Avenue. This corner is adjacent to P.S. 134; 11 people were injured on that corner in 2013 and 2014. In addition to being the most dangerous street in the neighborhood for pedestrians, Ocean Parkway regularly appears on listings of dangerous streets in Brooklyn, New York City and the tri-state area in general.

However, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is taking steps to address the problem of traffic and pedestrian safety along Ocean Parkway. In February, the DOT will announce its plans to improve conditions for pedestrians and motorists on this major corridor. These improvements will include monitors that report drivers' speeds and restrictions on left turns. Excessive speeds and left turns appear to be a major factor in accidents along the parkway, and these improvements, which also include crossing countdowns at several intersections, should make a difference.

The street was laid out in 1866 by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux, who also designed Central Park. It was intended to be a green space in the middle of a teeming borough, rather than a high speed traffic artery. Local community leaders and residents hope that it can take back its designation as a Parkway.

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