The vehicle traffic at the increasingly busy intersection of Hicks and Congress Streets, specifically along the West Side of the BQE intersection is a cause of large concern for everyone in the neighborhood. This corner functions as the main walkway and crosswalk for accessing the improved Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, as well as the main crosswalk the Van Voorhees NYC park and playground located across from our main entrance. Individuals coming from the Columbia Waterfront area need to cross Hicks at the corner to get to other parts of Cobble Hill, and/or when heading to any of the subways lines in our area. It should also be noted that this is the route taken by school children headed to PS 29 and other schools in the area. All of these pedestrians have now come under increased risk of severe injury due to the traffic, usually travelling at very high rates of speed, that uses Columbia Street and Hicks Street as access/egress to the BQE. This is especially noticeable with professional vehicles, such as transport trucks and livery vehicles.
The block and area has grown dramatically in the last few years with the additions of several new buildings. There are many more families with little children, childcare providers with babies in strollers, and pregnant women using this intersection. The playground across the street stays very active throughout the year, and we feel families crossing Congress Street lack a safe way of doing so.
We feel, at minimum, there is a critical need for a STOP sign and two speed bumps on Congress Street between Coumbia Street and Hicks Street. Due to the current amount of construction on the BQE, as well as daily rush hour traffic, trucks and cars have been increasingly exiting the BQE at Atlantic Avenue and racing onto the block to connect back with Hicks Street and bypass traffic as a means to a shortcut. These drivers are seemingly in a rush and appear to be speeding to try to ‘beat traffic’ without concern for pedestrians. Please note a speed bump was installed further up on Congress St (between Henry and Clinton) to aid in safety of those using the Cobble Hill park and playground. We would also like to ask for two distinct cross walks: one across from the West corner of the Congress/Hicks intersection to allow families to cross safely to the playground: and a more-visible-to-drivers crosswalk on the East side of the intersection.
We are certain that you can sense our worst fear. There is deep worry that someone could be severely injured or killed simply because our community failed to take simple steps to prevent it. This is not only a concern for the more than 30 new families who have recently moved into 100 Congress, but to all of us in the area.