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Many hope traffic circle improvements square with DOT

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Navigating the notoriously congested Park Circle in Windsor Terrace can sometimes resemble a scene from a Peter Sellers “Pink Panther” movie.

Department of Transportation (DOT) officials hope that soon traffic will move through the circle more smoothly, after unveiling the first plans for the redesign of the site at International Baptist Church (312 Coney Island Avenue) last month.

The designs, which will be implemented in three phases during a two−week period this fall, were met with relief from many Windsor Terrace and Park Slope residents.

“I have to say on this plan, I’m pleasantly surprised,” said Randolph Peers, chairperson of Community Board 7. “As long as they are open to revisiting this if it doesn’t work out the way we all predict, I’m all for it.”

Transportation officials said that the biggest challenge in the redesign was integrating vehicular, bicycle, pedestrian, and equestrian traffic throughout the busy site, where Prospect Park meets traffic headed to and from the Prospect Expressway, Ocean Parkway, and the Fort Hamilton Parkway. This will be achieved by adding several new and direct crosswalks around the traffic circle, with shorter crossings, as well as new signals and signage to order vehicles properly. The plan also features a Class 1 bicycle path and a protected bridle path for horses.

“This is the continuation of the Greenway,” said Tara Ishee, a DOT project manager. “You can go from Bushwick Avenue all the way to Coney Island through safe routes.”

The first phase of the reconstruction plan will likely occur in September. DOT officials stated that construction will take place during the daytime hours and they will notify residents in advance when any work will occur.

Several residents proposed that the group reconvene one to two months after discovery work is completed, though the community may not see the full impact of the redesign until next summer, when traffic is at its peak.

Still, if there is any indication, long−time residents such as CB 7 member Joan Botti were encouraged by the DOT’s initial plans.

“If it is anything like Madison Square Park on 5th Avenue and 22nd Street, it will be magnificent,” said Botti. “Pedestrians know where to go and cars know where to go, too.”

For more information, visit⁄dot.

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