A Blogazine, based out of Park Slope, Brooklyn, that features fun and interesting articles. Topics include: parenting, society, real estate, career, style, spirituality and more. Written contributions are always welcome!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Help Make PPW, 8th Ave. and Union St. Safer

Support PSN's Traffic-Calming Campaign for Prospect Park West, 8th Avenue & Union Street. Useful sites to visit to learn more about Traffic-Calming Campaigns near you and too keep streets safe for your community are: www.livablestreets.com and www.streetfilms.org.

Most advocates believe that two-way streets function better for pedestrians, cyclists, commerce, and livable streets. In fact all across the country, hundreds of cities are changing one-way streets back to two-way.

But in Park Slope, Brooklyn, the NYC Department of Transportation - without any community input or stated reason - has developed a plan to turn two-way 6th & 7th Avenues into one-way corridors for traffic like 8th Avenue. Advocates from each of the NYC Streets Renaissance partners have demonstrated just how much 8th Avenue differs in its street geometry and car speeds and how it would impact neighborhood life on 6th and 7th Avenues.

View a short documentary (above) that highlights the speeding and gridlock problems in Park Slope. For readers reading this via RSS feed or email, you will have to click through to the HSM site to see the video.

Just about two years ago, New York City's Department of Transportation unveiled a proposal to change Brooklyn's 6th and 7th Avenues from two-way to one-way streets. But the response from Park Slope was a loud and darn-near-unanimous "no, thanks." 2,500 of you signed Park Slope Neighbors' "One Way, No Way!" petition in a matter of a few days, some 700 neighborhood residents turned out for DOT's presentation in Methodist Hospital's 180-or-so-seat auditorium, the Park Slope Civic Council and Community Board Six came out against the plan, and just a couple weeks after the proposal was first hatched, DOT withdrew it, preserving Park Slope's calmer two-way neighborhood avenues.

Now, PSN is seeking your support to take the logical next step. For years, Prospect Park West and 8th Avenue - our neighborhood's only one-way avenues - have been plagued by speeding, while the intersection of 8th Avenue and Union Street has been beset by gridlock, causing dangerous conditions for pedestrians who frequently encounter crosswalks blocked by cars. The dangerous conditions on these streets was the topic of the Community Bookstore's inaugural monthly neighborhood forum in October, and at the Civic Council's "Livable Streets" brunch last month, concern about Prospect Park West, 8th Avenue and Union Street was the number one thing on people's minds.

Worse, last September, cyclist Jonathan Millstein was killed in a collision with a bus at 8th Avenue and President Street. Just last month, a pedestrian was struck and critically injured at 8th Avenue and Carroll Street. And speeding is actually worse on Prospect Park West. Near misses seem like daily occurrences.

In order to try to improve conditions, Park Slope Neighbors has initiated a campaign asking the Department of Transportation to make these streets safer for all users by converting Prospect Park West and 8th Avenue to two-way streets, and by putting Prospect Park West on a road diet through the addition of a two-way protected bike lane along the park, between the sidewalk and parked cars.

They've launched a petition drive, which we took to the streets this weekend and last, collecting more than 700 signatures in just a few hours. An electronic version of the petition is now available on their website, and they invite you to join there campaign to help stop speeding, ease congestion and improve safety on Prospect Park West, 8th Avenue and Union Street by signing it now at:

It takes just a few seconds to add your name and make a difference.

On their site, you can also find a wealth of information about this safety initiative, including a short film documenting the speeding and gridlock problems (they hit the streets with a video camera and a radar gun), a list of answers to frequently asked questions, and numerous links to research explaining why two-way streets are safer.

PSN knows that these proposed changes won't satisfy everyone, that some people like one-way streets or may have other ideas. But They're convinced that restoring two-way traffic flow to Eighth Avenue (which was a two-way street until June 1930) and Prospect Park West is the best way to combat speeding, unclog the intersection of 8th and Union, and make these streets safer for all users.

We hope you'll agree, and that you'll join our campaign by signing the petition at: