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Arena block from east

Block 1120/6th Avenue from north

Pedestrian crosswalk unsafe for at least 4 months

Location: 
6th Avenue and Atlantic Avenue
When: 
January 22, 2015 - 9:16am

The crosswalk on this intersection has been unsafe and continuously shared between cars, trucks, bikers , construction trucks and pedestrians. The authorities, DOB, or the developers did not even bother painting a new crosswalk in a more safe location, indicating where pedestrians should cross to stay safeand away from cars. Several times a day there are no workers helping and indicating the way.
Pictures from a high floor on the Atlantic Terrace residential building on Atlantic Avenue between South Oxford and South Portland Streets show the exact intersection of 6th Avenue and Atlantic Avenue and the sequence of events of cars and pedestrians sharing the crosswalk.

Severity
The nature of the threat posed by the incident or impact.
People: 
Extended community
Frequency: 
Ongoing
Impact: 
Personal injury
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 #

Earlier crosswalk incident

Priority: -> normal
State: -> Active
Client: -> Public

I am also an AT resident and would like to add that I had a similar incident over 2 months ago. Aside from the immediate email response that I include here, I have not heard from anyone from FCRC since.

From an email I sent on Nov. 19, 8:23am to Brigitte LaBonte, Roberta Fearon, and Ashley Cotton:

Good morning,
I am a resident of Atlantic Terrace and a member of the outreach committee. This morning at around 7:50 I was walking my 9-yr-old son to school crossing from the NE corner of S. Portland & Atlantic to the SE corner. A red truck with a long flatbed attached stacked with wood crossed the intersection and we began to cross with the light. Without warning (no one guiding pedestrian traffic) the truck began to back up into the crosswalk to get into the staging area at the SW corner of that intersection. My son & I were already in the crosswalk along with at least one other pedestrian. There was one worker directing the truck to back up - I called to him and pointed out that we were there. He ignored us. As the truck passed us I pointed out to the driver that there were people in the crosswalk, including a child. His exact words to me: "shut up!"
This is inexcusable. You have come into the neighborhood where we live and disrupted our lives by keeping is awake at night, waking us early in the morning, bombarding us with noise all day long, and making the outside of our homes filthy by not covering your dirt piles. Now when a resident points out that our health & safety -- our lives -- were threatened, we are treated in this manner. I am furious.
I am hoping to attend the quality of life meeting this evening and complain in person, but I am 8.5 mos pregnant and may not feel up to it. I would like to know what your plans are to address this unacceptable incident promptly and appropriately.

The response that I received:
Begin forwarded message:

From: "Fearon, Roberta"
Subject: RE: unacceptable incident at work site this morning 11/19
Date: November 19, 2014 at 11:07:30 AM EST
To: 'Sarah Berger' , "LaBonte, Brigitte" , "Cotton, Ashley"

Good morning Sarah,

The treatment you encountered is unacceptable, you should not have been spoken to that way and I would like to apologize to you. We do not condone this type of poor behavior to our neighbors. I will look into this for you and let you know what I find out.

Once again I am sorry for the way you were treated.

Sincerely,
Roberta

Roberta Fearon
718-923-5314
rfearon@fcrc.com

 
 #

Response from ESD

The following response from ESD was received on 1/28/2015:

Dear Sarah:

Thanks you for your correspondence regarding the Atlantic Yards project. I am reaching out to New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) and NYPD to discuss your concern. I will get back to you as soon as possible with an update.

Best,

Nicole

 
 #

Response from ESD

The following response was received from ESD (atlanticyards@esd.ny.gov):

Dear AT Resident:

Thank you for your correspondence. Per the previous construction alert (Two Week Look Ahead) and the one circulated on January 20, 2015 the pedestrian pathways will remain closed while steel trusses work is being conducted on Sixth Avenue. Forest City Ratner Companies will continue to have flagmen present  to direct pedestrians away from the work area. If you have not received a copy of the construction alert please provide me with your email and I will be sure to get you that information as soon as possible. I hope this information was helpful in addressing your concerns. Please reach out if you have any additional concerns and I will do my best to address them.

Best,

Nicole

 
 #

Response to ESD

Nicole,

I also took photos from the ground yesterday too when leaving to work, and was surprised with the police officers there, but did not get a chance to post yet. I will start a new post.
Looks like it was a reaction to the photos an hour earlier?

That was the first time ever I saw police directing traffic there outside of event hours. That is a good thing. But there are always unattended times.

The point of the post was that a new crosswalk needs to be painted where pedestrians can cross, among other measures of course, because as it stands now, and as the traffic is redirected to a narrow passage on 6th avenue to south portland, the cars literally ride on the crosswalk.

Pedestrians are at risk all the time, because they will naturally cross where the stripes are painted, and in this section is literally impossible to do that. 100% of Vehicles are going through those stripes at every change of traffic light, and even more dangerously, when the construction workers are gone for the day.

I should add that from my window, I have witnessed several children over 12 going to school on their own, and distractedly crossing where they SHOULD be able to cross safely, or pedestrians with earbuds, elderly, and so on. Some clearly look confused on whether they will be safe in the intersection or not.
And I have witnessed a lot more that I don't have time to be documenting.

The "Two week look ahead" is no excuse for the lack of care for the population.

Bottom line is, the
ESD truly cares about who is affected, or is it just doing what is "required" to be published?

Thank you for your attention.

 
 #

My experience

Thank you Nicole for your prompt written response to this incident report.  I happened to be passing through this intersection on foot today and saw the situation the person filing the incident report is describing first hand.
 
There were flagmen when I passed through, and NYPD had also posted an officer at the location.    The officer focused on the pedestrians while the flagger focused on getting the construction equipment out into traffic.  Thanks are due the 78th Precinct once again!  
 
There is a lot of traffic moving through Atlantic Avenue and 6th Avenues most times of the day.  Both have been narrowed, squeezing volume into a few lanes.  In the meantime, there are also a lot of pedestrians, even with all the sidewalk and crosswalk closures.  The pedestrians don't really have a clearly delineated path how to cross Atlantic.  It is unsettling because the traffic traveling down 6th Avenue actually passes directly over the area delineated as a crosswalk, plus construction equipment is entering and exiting onto the crosswalk from both sides.  The dirty tire tracks of construction equipment don't help. 
 
I think what the filer of the incident report is writing is correct: even with properly trained (and let's hope paid for by the for profit developer, not taxpayer!) help, pedestrians still need clear visual clues how to pass through the intersection.  If the construction vehicles can be directed a different way, I would also try that.