In advance of the City’s Department of Transportation presentation to Brooklyn’s Community Board 1, the campaign to “Make McGuinness Safe” has amassed 2,500 signatures on a petition urging the Adams administration to take decisive action.
The petition, formed in the aftermath of the tragic hit and run death of local teacher Matthew Jensen, demands a comprehensive redesign of McGuinness Boulevard, a major thoroughfare that critics say is one of the most dangerous in the city. The petition demands wider sidewalks, a protected bike lane, and the elimination of one lane of traffic in either direction.
McGuinness has long been a lightning rod of controversy. Originally a smaller street called Oakland, the street was one of the many casualties of Robert Moses’ grand design for the city in the mid-20th century; it was widened and eventually turned into the McGuinness Boulevard we know today. Transportation Alternatives, a group sponsoring the petition, says that the last five years have seen two fatalities and injuries to 29 pedestrians and 21 cyclists.
Soon after Jensen’s death, Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged $39 million to fix McGuinness, which elected officials hope can be put to use sooner rather than later.
“Our community is speaking loud and clear: no more deaths on McGuinness. Over the past year, our neighbors have turned their profound grief over the death of a beloved local teacher into action and purpose. They mobilized thousands of Greenpointers to demand the transformative redesign New York City promised us one year ago. I’ve been grateful for the Department of Transportation’s thoughtful engagement as they’ve worked on a proposal but now it’s time to see the results,” said Assemblymember Emily Gallagher.
“For too many years our community has been demanding to do something about the highway on McGuinness that divides Greenpoint. The longer we wait for action, the worse the traffic violence gets. I am fully committed to swift implementation of a comprehensive plan to slow down traffic and make McGuinness safe,” said Council Member Lincoln Restler.
“Having to wait a year after the tragic crash and initial announcement to redesign has been disheartening. The community has made itself heard: 2,500 local residents have signed a petition calling for a comprehensive redesign of McGuinness Boulevard that prevents future tragedies from happening. We look forward to seeing a redesign proposal that the community so desperately deserves,” said North Brooklyn State Senator Julia Salazar (SD-18).
You can check out the presentation for yourself tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m.