FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Brooklyn, NY — This week, the Department of Transportation installed three mid-block crossings on Atlantic Avenue between Nevins St and Bond St, Bond St and Hoyt St, and Hoyt St and Smith St. Atlantic Avenue has a history of being unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists; there have been 500 crashes in the last five years on this stretch of Atlantic, and two fatalities in just 2023.
Mid-block crossings are major safety initiatives that will slow down speeding cars and trucks. This new design will help neighbors frequent more local businesses by reducing the length of these long blocks and making it easier and safer to cross the street.
“Atlantic Avenue is one of Brooklyn’s busiest roads—with dozens of great local shops and restaurants—but it’s also one of the most dangerous,” said Council Member Lincoln Restler. “These new mid-block crossings will create a greater sense of safety and community for Boerum Hill. I’m grateful to the Department of Transportation for working with our community to get this done, and excited for further improvements we’ll make to finally make Atlantic Avenue safe.”
"Atlantic Avenue is much more than just a road for cars to pass through—it's a place for people to be, with beloved small businesses and communities that rely on them," said State Senator Andrew Gounardes. "For far too long, the design of Atlantic Avenue has been a risk to public safety and public health. These mid-block crossings are a much-welcomed step toward keeping Brooklynites safe and creating the vibrant Atlantic Avenue we all want and deserve."
"Atlantic Avenue has long been known as a dangerous corridor for pedestrians and we have witnessed far too many preventable deaths on this notorious stretch,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon. “That’s why I’m thrilled that City DOT has really listened to the community and has installed three mid-block crossings along with new traffic signals. These improvements will enhance street safety, so drivers are forced to be more vigilant, keeping all of us safer. This is a great step forward and I’m looking forward to additional street calming measures.”
“Mid-block crossings are a sorely needed start towards ending Atlantic Avenue’s reputation as Brooklyn’s Boulevard of Death,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Right now, while stretches of Atlantic Avenue are busy retail corridors, it is simultaneously one of our borough’s most dangerous streets. I applaud Council Member Restler’s advocacy for street safety on Atlantic Avenue and the NYC Department of Transportation’s willingness to bring practical safety measures to combat traffic violence on one of Brooklyn’s most dangerous streets. I look forward to working together to continue making Atlantic Avenue safe for all!”
“These mid-block crosswalks are a welcomed first step toward pedestrian safety improvements on Atlantic Avenue, a Vision Zero Priority corridor,” said Kelly Carroll, Executive Director of the Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District. “These crosswalks instantly created unprecedented access to our small businesses located mid-block, and increased our commercial district's walkability, which benefits everyone. We thank our elected officials DOT, and our colleague organizations for their advocacy and action in making Atlantic Avenue a safer place to live, work and shop.”
“The mid-block crossings are a great first step forward in calming dangerous traffic on our part of Atlantic Avenue,” said Howard Kolins, President of the Boerum Hill Association. “Thank you to our elected officials for listening and acting on our behalf.”
Mid-block crossings include the installation of a new traffic signal and crosswalk. These crossings enhance safety by offering more direct, convenient trips on foot and by better managing traffic flow among all road users. They are typically installed along busy commercial corridors with long blocks to reduce the distance pedestrians must walk to reach a designated crossing.
The elected officials representing the area have long advocated for safety improvements to Atlantic Avenue. In January 2023, Department of Transportation Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Keith Bray joined Council Member Lincoln Restler and the office of Borough President Antonio Reynoso on a walking tour of Atlantic Avenue to advocate for safety interventions, including mid-block crossings to slow down traffic. That April, after 31-year-old Katherine Harris was killed while crossing the street, State Senator Andrew Gounardes, Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon,Council Members Shahana Hanif and Lincoln Restler, Borough President Reynoso, Congressman Dan Goldman and community leaders sent a letter that called on the Department of Transportation to immediately implement safety improvements, including mid-block crossings. Later that month, Senator Gounardes, Borough President Reynoso, and Council Member Restler also joined neighbors and activists at a rally to demand street design changes.
At Council Member Restler’s request, DOT performed a study that found mid-block crossings were warranted. Each of the elected officials representing the Boerum Hill neighborhood have strongly advocated together for this safety improvement on Atlantic Avenue.