Families cross the BQE heading from Pier 6 playground at the end of Atlantic Ave.
Photo by Joshua Kristal
Last summer I was leaving Pier 6 playground, at the end of Atlantic Avenue, with two little girls in a large stroller. We were waiting on the sidewalk for the “walk” sign to turn on. I gazed into my phone, texting.
Next thing I know, a massive semi truck is swinging toward the two girls. It’s coming onto the sidewalk. I scream and jump backwards, yanking the stroller with me.
The driver hangs out his window, laughing, saying he sees me. I see that he’s made this wide turn up over the sidewalk to get onto the highway onramp from Atlantic Avenue. But if I hadn’t jumped back, he could easily have hit one of the girls.
I could barely breath or stop my heart from pounding in my chest.
It’s no secret that the walk to and from Pier 6, the widely popular playground near the water overlooking Manhattan, in which thousands of pedestrians cross the entrance to the BQE, is not safe.
“The current routes along Atlantic Avenue and Columbia Streets… are just too dangerous,” says City Councilman Brad Lander.
Lander is organizing to pressure the NYC Department of Transportation to improve safety along the walking route, by adding a traffic stop at the entrance to the highway.
The City Councilman for Carroll Gardens, Red Hook and Park Slope sent a petition to the department with 240 signatures asking that action be taken before the warm weather arrives.
“With spring upon us, we need some adjustments (e.g. a new traffic light at Congress and Columbia) soon,” Lander said.
To view the petition, visit: http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/2777/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=3735
To voice comments or concerns, contact Lander’s office at (718) 499-1090 or Lander@Council.NYC.gov.<http://bradlander.com/.