Brooklyn, NY – Speaking at the Community Board 12 meeting last night, Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) expressed outrage about the recent installation of pedestrian islands along Fort Hamilton Parkway, noting the danger the islands pose for emergency and sanitation vehicles, as well as for regular motorists.
Since the installation of the islands, firefighters have reported that their response time has been slowed, while the ability of ambulances to quickly reach Maimonides Medical Center has also been adversely affected. Sanitation workers, too, are concerned that snow removal along the roadway will now be hindered.
In fact, Hikind said that he was told by a volunteer ambulance member that a patient being transported to Maimonides Medical Center died en route to the hospital after traffic was snarled because of the pedestrian islands. Hikind emphasized repeatedly that neither he nor the community board was given proper notice or an opportunity to review or discuss the DOT’s plan to install these islands.
The community board voted unanimously to oppose the new curb extensions and islands in the district and called upon DOT to cease further work until a traffic pattern study is produced and presented to the community board at a future hearing. The board noted that the islands were a “public safety concern” and “a hazard.”
The New York City Department of Transportation has defended the installation of the islands, claiming they were necessary to improve senior safety. Hikind countered that argument stating that the installation of pedestrian countdown signals, already in use throughout the City, would have been more than sufficient to let seniors know how much time they had to safely cross the street.
“I am determined to stop this,” Hikind said. “I am going to get the City to take a second look.”
Watch Assemblyman Hikind speak last night at community board. Exclusive video for VIN News. Credit: Shimon Gifter
Watch below Councilmemebr Brad lander who was instrumental in getting the pedestrian island installed, defend his position.