The stretch of Fourth Avenue between 15th and 65th streets in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park is among the most dangerous roads in the city, with nearly 100 fatalities since 2006. A new initiative hopes to change that. Next week, construction will begin on wider medians, fewer lanes, and increased signage on the avenue, in an effort to increase pedestrian safety. Borough President Marty Markowitz even hopes to christen the avenue with a new name: Brooklyn Boulevard.
Fourth Avenue serves as the main throughway for cars and trucks in Sunset Park, and the potential reasons for its deadliness are manifold: Sunset Park has an unusually high number of people who commute to work on foot, for one thing, and Fourth Avenue’s 20-inch medians leave many people stranded in the intersection while trying to cross the road. “It is just riddled with pedestrian fatalities,” said Ryan Lynch, who serves on Markowitz’s traffic safety committee. “This is an issue we’ve been looking at for years.”
The Brooklyn Boulevard name would go into effect as a “co-name, similar to the ‘Avenue of the Americas’ label for Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue,” according to DNAinfo.
“This is the thoroughfare that runs through Brooklyn that people remember. To have that name, Brooklyn Boulevard, really brings it together,” said Mark Zustovich, press secretary to Marty Markowitz. “It symbolizes all of Brooklyn. It goes from Downtown through Park Slope to Bay Ridge. We say it goes from Atlantic Avenue to the Atlantic Ocean.”
(Photo: Mike Ruby/Flickr)