New countdown signals are now in place to help pedestrians at 14 intersections along Ocean Parkway between Ditmas Avenue and Avenue R. The 62 signal boxes, which were installed this past month by the Department of Transportation, feature an LED countdown of the number of seconds a pedestrian has to safely cross the street. This initiative is part of an effort to make local streets safer for pedestrians. A recent report found that 152 pedestrians were killed on Brooklyn streets from 2007 to 2009, including seven on Ocean Parkway. In 2009, pedestrians accounted for more than half of all traffic fatalities in Brooklyn.
Councilman David Greenfield, who has been instrumental in urging the DOT to install the signals, explained the importance of this initiative for pedestrian safety. “Anyone who has walked across Ocean Parkway knows how intimidating it can be for pedestrians, especially children and seniors. I thank the DOT for taking me up on my offer to install these signals in my district. This is a simple yet effective way for the city to make this busy parkway safer for all. We need to do everything possible to continue reducing the number of fatalities on our roads, and this is a great step towards that goal.”
Countdown signals have been proven to make streets safer by helping pedestrians avoid getting stuck on narrow medians mid-crossing as the light changes, and by informing pedestrians exactly how much time they have to cross before stepping off the curb.
These installations represent the beginning of the Ocean Parkway countdown signal project. Once the project is completed, countdown signals will be in place at all major intersections along Ocean Parkway from Park Circle to Sea Breeze Avenue. Eventually, the city hopes to install 1,500 countdown signals across New York City.