Adams launches new street safety initiative

Adams launches new street safety initiative|Adams launches new street safety initiative
Brooklyn BP’s Office / Kathryn Kirk|Photo by William Farrington

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams on Tuesday joined dozens of senior citizens outside the AMICO Senior Citizens Center in Borough Park, along with local elected officials and community advocates, to launch CROSS (Connecting Residents on Safer Streets) Brooklyn, his new initiative to improve street safety for the borough’s vulnerable pedestrians.

Adams said the effort includes a commitment of US$1 million in capital funding from Brooklyn Borough Hall in Fiscal Year 2016 to construct sidewalk extensions, known as “bulb-outs” or “neck-downs,” at intersections determined to be dangerous, based on crash data from the New York City Department of Transportation.

“The foundation of One Brooklyn is built on safety, and I am focused every day on finding new ways to advance the safety of every Brooklynite, especially our most vulnerable,” Adams told a press conference in Borough Park, flanked by senior citizens.

“CROSS Brooklyn is literally putting our money where our mouth is to make safe streets a reality for all. We want to shorten the distance it takes for our seniors, disabled, and youngest Brooklynites to cross dangerous intersections; by installing more sidewalk extensions, they will benefit from more of their commute being spent out of the street,” he added.

Adams said his new effort builds on his past work to advance Vision Zero and pedestrian safety, including his call last summer on the city to use its school crossing guards to assist seniors in crossing streets.

The announcement also comes in advance of the City Planning Commission’s vote on his land use recommendation to approve a lease renewal for AMICO Senior Citizens Center, a recommendation he conditioned on the City’s approval of constructing street extensions at the intersection adjacent to the center.

“I am thrilled to join Borough President Eric Adams at the launch of CROSS (Connecting Residents on Safe Streets),” said Council Member David Greenfield.

“I am proud to be a leader of Vision Zero in New York City — working together with my colleagues to make it safe for drivers and pedestrians. CROSS will expand the commitment to Vision Zero via the investment of much needed capital funds by the Borough President,” he added. “I look forward to working with the Borough President to find appropriate locations for CROSS improvements in my district and throughout Brooklyn.”

Lindsay Goldman, project director for Age-Friendly NYC, said improving intersections reduces pedestrian fatalities and enables older people to remain actively engaged in their communities.

“Increased walkability facilitates access to physical, social, and economic opportunity which is associated with better health for older people and more resilient communities,” she said.

According to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, people aged 60 years and older comprised 42.7 percent of Brooklyn’s 473 pedestrians killed in the 10 years from 2003 through 2012, though they made up only 16.2 percent of the population.

Those 75 years and older accounted for 5.6 percent of the total population, yet 19.9 percent of pedestrian fatalities.

Photo by William Farrington