Last week, the Department of Transportation held a public workshop to brainstorm how to improve safety at Times Plaza, the hodgepodge of an intersection at Flatbush, Atlantic, and Fourth avenues in Brooklyn, reports the Brooklyn Paper (h/t StreetsBlog NYC). While officials entertained plans that introduced crosswalks, curb extensions, and pedestrian islands, one architect had a better idea: why not create a traffic circle?
Jonathan Cohn, a Park Slope resident who works as a transportation architect for Perkins Eastman, believes that the circle concept is the most logical one. "This is a situation that calls for thinking outside of the box," he stated. The circle would make crossing the street far safer and easier for pedestrians, a top priority given that 78 pedestrians and cyclist were injured at the confusing intersection between 2010 and 2014. Also, the circle would create a steady and "predictable" flow of traffic in one direction, thereby helping to prevent car crashes.
Though the idea seems sensible, city officials don’t think the circle could work at Times Plaza due to a lack of space. But Cohn believes that the city could get beyond that if they just "took a bit" off the block on Flatbush Avenue where electronic store PC Richard and Son sits. The store will soon be replaced with an office building developed by Greenland Forest City Partners as part of the Pacific Park megaproject.
The proposal will be pitched to community boards in upcoming meetings.