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  • Writer's pictureGrace Freedman

Notes from June 1, 2022 FOFA/NYC DOT Meeting

Forth on Fourth Ave (FOFA)

Co-Chairs, SJ Avery and Grace Freedman

June 1, 2022, 4pm


Via Zoom

We had about 17 attendees, which included both of our Councilmembers (CM Shana Hanif and CM Lincoln Restler), Donna Newton from Jo Ann Simon's office and our DOT Community Liaison Emily Riquelme Beaufort and Judith Ogoe, Community Construction Liaison (CCL) for the 4th Avenue Safety Improvements Phase A


AGENDA

  1. Brief Introductions from NYC Dept of Transportation and City Elected Representatives

  2. Brief introduction of Forth on Fourth Ave (FOFA) - history of advocacy and current concerns of members. Our main areas of focus:

    1. Pedestrian safety; i.e., keeping promises on 4th Ave Safety Plan

    2. Greening and sustainability (flooding abatement)

    3. Supporting public art and creating a “sense of place”

  3. Main topic: Discussion of Pedestrian/ bike safety on 4th Ave with DOT and electeds

We are sharing broad community concern for safety and feelings of frustration and are looking for ways to work with city officials and electeds to improve 4th Ave


Questions:

  • What is the status of 4th Ave Great Streets Safety Plan?

Here are the NYC DOT Decks from the last 2 public meetings; more context below.


Currently status seems to be in the “Interim” phase listed in the DOT presentations.

  • How can we constructively advocate for capital improvements as presented, including elements of the plan like greening, concrete medians etc


Bullet Point Notes from June 2022 Meeting with DOT - recording of full meeting was recorded and shared to FOFA membership


Emily Riquelme Beaufort is our NYC DOT Community Liaison for the Brooklyn Borough Commissioner's Office; she was very informative and candid; she seemed very open to being a good partner to FOFA for safety concerns on 4th Ave. We were also introduced to Judith Ogoe who is the Community Construction Liaison (CCL) for 4th Avenue Safety Improvements Phase A (contact info below)


Status:

  • DOT will begin work on markings and vertical elements (ie flexiposts) by early June, weather-dependent. (We’ll share Judith Ogeo’s notes on how that project is actually moving”)

  • Enforcement - We are encouraged to report areas where people are illegally parked or creating unsafe conditions on 4th Ave. In addition to calling 311, both DOT and the councilmembers said we can and should share exact locations that need better enforcement. (Please include exact address locations and 311 report numbers.)


Future work and additional Greening

  • Greening treatments of 4th Ave are currently only 8th St to 64th St; we discussed adding 8th St to Pacific St as part of Gowanus rezoning plans for community improvement.

  • That’s a new project that we would need to advocate for, but councilmembers seemed open to listening.

  • Participatory Budgeting Project from 2014 - CM Hanif’s office said they would check that status to see where that money is being directed

Update from DOT rep Emily Riquelme Beaufort shared prior to meeting below


Good Morning,

I am sending you all the information ahead of the meeting for what I can discuss below:


Emily

What is the status of 4th Ave Great Streets Safety Plan?

4th Ave Phase A

Scope: raised medians from 64th street to 8th street (medians will be planted were feasible, eg. no subway vents)

Status: In construction since 8/23/2021

4th Ave Phase B

Scope:

64th St – Atlantic: Pedestrian and cyclist safety improvements in the form of curb extensions, refuge islands, and grade separated bike lanes (in select locations)

64th St – Atlantic: ADA upgrades

64th St – Atlantic: roadway resurfacing

8th St – Atlantic: raised medians

Status: In design

04/06/2022 - DDC provided a list of corner locations for DOT PRP review and comments.

03/28/2022 - DOT, DDC and AKRF had a design kick-off meeting.

03/03/2022 - DDC design task order registered.

Construction is scheduled to begin in FY2025

4th Avenue Bike Lane

Markings and vertical elements will be installed starting May 31st and expected to be completed by mid-July, weather dependent.

Additional Contact:

Judith Ogoe

Community Construction Liaison (CCL)

4th Avenue Safety Improvements Phase A

NYC-DDC Project # HWK1669A

331 37th Street, Brooklyn NY 11232

--

Other Topics discussed during meeting:

  1. FOFA New/Continuing Items

    1. Townhall with CM Shahana Hanif - Sunday June 12 at 2pm at The Old Stone House - hosted by the Park Slope Civic Council and others. FOFA is a co-sponsor and we encourage members to attend and voice concerns related to 4th Ave. Details here: https://parkslopeciviccouncil.org/shahana-hanif-town-hall-june-12/

    2. Mapping New Developments and Outreach for Greening - survey membership as to who is available to work on this over the summer

    3. Public Art on 4th Ave - still have questions about Construction Sheds and who can give approval for art work – can DOT be a resource and refer us to the right people?

    4. FOFA recruitment/social media/outreach - we welcome volunteers on this!


Background Material about 4th Ave Safety project and continued advocacy


Why Now?

Despite improvements, continued crashes, continued frustration over feelings of safety, parking in “grey zones” create blind spots, and construction issues all add to dangerous conditions

  • New Funding promised from Adams administration for safety projects - can 4th Ave be included? What would be steps to this?

  • In 2014 D39 Participatory Budgeting Project for Greening on 4th Ave was top vote getter, yet that project was never seen to fruition. What steps can be taken to restart or fully realize this project?

Materials Accessed from NYC DOT website - March 24, 2022


4th Avenue is Under Past Projects:

Fourth Avenue Great Streets

Building upon the success of safety improvements implemented on 4th Ave in 2012. NYC DOT proposed a Capital project that delivered pedestrian refuge islands at intersections, shortening pedestrian crossings and improving visibility between pedestrians and motorists. The proposal incorporated curb side parking protected bike lanes to accommodate the growing number of cyclists in New York City. Lastly, the proposal included beautification of the streetscape by adding space for public art, CityBenches, planted and landscaped space along the sidewalk, median and pedestrian refuge islands.

In 2020, NYC DOT updated this proposal to include details on the use of temporary materials in advance of the capital project from 1st St to Flatbush Avenue.




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