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TSTC Executive Director Veronica Vanterpool (left) and New York City Council Member Letitia James (right) spoke at Tuesday's release of BK Gateway Transportation Vision at DeKalb Station in Brooklyn. | Photo: Ryan Lynch
Population and transit ridership have skyrocketed over the last twenty years in Brooklyn, but the New York City Departments of Transportation and City Planning have yet to develop a plan to accommodate increased demand on the borough's transportation infrastructure. A group of elected officials, civic groups and advocates are bringing attention to the matter with today's release of BK Gateway Transportation Vision, a report that highlights the challenges facing Downtown Brooklyn and the need for a comprehensive transportation-land use plan for the area.
The BK Gateway area, defined as the downtown neighborhoods bounded by the East River, Nostrand Avenue, Empire Boulevard and 9th Street, has seen a surge in residential and commercial development, is home to the brand new Barclays Center arena, has seen dramatic increases in transit ridership and has suffered hundreds of bicycle and pedestrian fatalities in recent years. The report lays out a number of key recommendations to help accommodate growth, ease congestion and improve safety, including
- implementation of residential parking permits,
- targeted subway service improvements on the R, N and D lines,
- creation of a "Pedestrian Safety Rapid Response Team" to address safety concerns around the Barclays Center
- and an expanded protected cycling network, paricularly along Flatbush and Atlanic Avenues.
The Vision grew out of discussions with community boards and after a community charrette last March and ongoing community outreach will continue to identify areas of concern within the Gateway area. A follow-up community meeting is expected to take place on Saturday, January 26.