Last summer the city’s Department of Transportation announced plans to test out a (relatively) radical new traffic control plan by creating some pilot 20 miles-per-hour zones, with a few to establishing more if the test areas are deemed successful. Residents of Boerum Hill really want to be guinea pigs for this program.
Yesterday the Brooklyn Paper reported that the Boerum Hill Association and Councilman Steve Levin (D—Brooklyn Heights) are hoping the DoT will create one of its 20mph traffic control zones on the long stretch below Atlantic Avenue, a 36-block area bounded by Fourth Avenue and Court Street to the east and west, and Pacific and Baltic Streets to the north and south.
Weirdly, the typically anti-car control Post is all for the idea, especially in anticipation of additional traffic in the area once the Atlantic Yards’ Barclay’s Center is playing host to frequent professional basketball games. More additional traffic to the area is also expected due to upcoming BQE renovations.
The city’s 20mph program was inspired by a similar initiative begun in London in 2001, and in reaction to statistics that pedestrians made up more than half of traffic casualties in New York City between 2005 and 2009. The first such zone (outside of areas with schools and hospitals) will be in the Bronx, and depending on that project’s success the city is planning to add another 75.
One Boerum Hill resident, telling the BP why her ‘hood should be one of those 75, challenges Park Slope’s stroller supremacy: “I have a baby, and it’s like no one ever stops. There are so many kids here, it’s Baby Central.”