DOT Announces Completed Intersection Redesign

DOT Commissioner Rodriguez announces the completion of an intersection redesign at Highland Boulevard and Vermont Place. Image Credit: NYC DOT.

This project is part of the Adams administration’s commitment to fixing 1,000 intersections a year. On July 29, 2022, Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced the completion of an intersection redesign at Highland Boulevard and Vermont Place. Located in Highland Park near the Ridgewood Reservoir, the intersection was redesigned to improve pedestrian safety and greenspace access for the many Brooklyn and Queens residents who enjoy the park.

DOT targeted Highland Boulevard and Vermont Place at the request of local advocacy groups, transforming a highway-like intersection into a pedestrian-friendly crossing that calms traffic. Changes include a new concrete sidewalk and a freshly painted curb extension, which will reduce pedestrian crossing time and slow down the vehicles that turn off of Vermont Place.

High-traffic intersections like this one typically pose a heightened safety risk for pedestrians. Crashes at intersections comprise 50 percent of all fatalities and 70 percent of all injuries in NYC. Additionally, 55 percent of pedestrian fatalities and 79 percent of pedestrian traffic injuries occur at intersections.

Under the Adams Administration, DOT has committed to address pedestrian safety by improving 1,000 intersections a year citywide. With the Highland Park project complete, DOT is on track to meet its 1,000-location target for 2022.

The new upgrades create safer pedestrian access to Highland Park, which is frequently used for walking and other exercise. Located at the Brooklyn and Queens border, the park offers sweeping views of the Rockaways and Atlantic Ocean and helps underserved communities better connect with their local greenspace.

City Council Member Jennifer Gutierrez of District 34 praised the improved Highland Park intersection, stating, “Highland Park and Ridgewood Reservoir are vital sources of outdoor space for our community members, but for far too long, it has been a hazard to access some of the city’s most beautiful hidden gems. While these crosswalk additions may seem like a small improvement, Vermont Place and Highland Boulevard are treated by drivers like an extension of our city’s highways, and these pedestrian upgrades make it clear that this is a community space.”

Another local Council Member, Sandy Nurse, added, “Highland Park is an essential greenspace for its surrounding communities. The pedestrian safety and traffic-calming measures unveiled by the DOT today are welcome improvements that will offer safer access to the park. I look forward to working with Commissioner Rodriguez and the DOT to continue to improve pedestrian safety throughout District 37.”

Council Member Robert Holden of District 30: “Our parks and green spaces are the jewels of our city and it’s important that everyone has safe, convenient access to them. That’s why I applaud the DOT for improving this intersection and allowing more families to safely enjoy Highland Park and the Ridgewood Reservoir.”

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr.: “These intersection upgrades go a long way toward improving safety and the overall quality-of-life for those living near the Queens-Brooklyn border. Those seeking to utilize the beautiful Highland Park and Ridgewood Reservoir for recreation and exercise, or who are just looking to walk in this wonderful neighborhood, can now do so more safely and with more peace of mind.”

DOT Commissioner Rodriguez: “In the heat of the summer, communities like Ocean Hill, East New York, Cypress Hills and Richmond Hill need and deserve safe access to high-quality parks as much as anyone else. This project will help ensure residents in these neighborhoods can safely walk to the beautiful grounds of Highland Park and the Ridgewood Reservoir. We thank the advocates who tirelessly championed these upgrades, and we look forward to continuing our intersection improvements across the five boroughs.”

By: Cassidy Strong (Cassidy is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024.)

DOT: “DOT Commissioner Rodriguez Announces Completion of Intersection Redesign Improving Access to Highland Park and Ridgewood Reservoir”, July 29, 2022.


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