Brooklyn, NY

How many more people need to get hit by cars before we put traffic signals on Ocean Parkway?

Brooklyn and Beyond

Ocean Parkway has repeatedly been named one of Brooklyn's most dangerous roadways, but we still don't have stoplights or crossing signals on most corners of the service road.

There have been 86 crashes and over 100 injuries on Ocean Parkway in 2020, including 17 cyclist injuries and 20 pedestrian injuries. Although the Vision Zero Pedestrian Safety Action Plan lists Ocean Parkway as a "priority corridor" with several "priority intersections", the action plan itself doesn't call for any actions that involve installing traffic lights, turn signals, or crossing signals where they are needed most.

Instead, the action plan calls for increased crossing time in places where signals already exist. It calls for the installation of speed bumps and the addition of better lighting on certain streets. It promises to add new signs reminding drivers of the speed limit, an arsenal of new speed cameras, and multilingual educational campaigns.

In other words, the Vision Zero plan in New York City (which aims to eliminate injuries and fatalities on streets and roadways) plans to educate drivers about how to avoid hitting people with their cars, and it plans to educate pedestrians about how to avoid getting hit by cars. They plan to blame pedestrians before they even think about installing traffic lights so that drivers are required to stop their vehicles when pedestrians are crossing the street.

According to this plan, education should be enough to keep people safe on Ocean Parkway, which is a whopping 8 lanes wide, including the service roads. The streets that intersect it are also multi-lane roads. Most corners of the service road have stop signs where drivers are expected to pause before continuing, even though the adjacent roads have green lights.

Over the past few years, six of these stop signs have been replaced by actual traffic signals, but the majority of the service road remains signal-free. Ocean Parkway feeds into the Prospect Park Expressway (a full-blown highway) at Church Avenue, where there is no crossing signal on the service road.

Take action

The Pedestrian Safety Action Plan aims to eliminate pedestrian and cyclist injuries and fatalities on our roadways, but we can't eliminate injuries and fatalities on streets with no crossing signals and no requirement for vehicles to stop before driving through.

Instead of waiting for the city to decide that we've had enough injuries and fatalities on Ocean Parkway, make the decision for them. Fill out this form to request traffic, crossing, and turn signals at every unsafe intersection on Ocean Parkway (and anywhere else that you feel unsafe). It takes less than a minute to fill out this form, and you can track your request as it is considered. If you're writing in about Ocean Parkway, make sure to specify that your request is about the service road. If someone else has already made a request regarding the same intersection, submit yours anyway. There is power in numbers.

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