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Three Southern Brooklyn Roads deemed pedestrian dangerous

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Kings Highway, Ocean Parkway and Neptune Avenue have been deemed among the most dangerous for pedestrians in the tri-state region, according to a new report.

While Ocean Parkway, which stretches from Church Avenue to the Atlantic Ocean on the Brighton Beach/Coney Island border, has long been known as a road filled with speeding cars and accidents, the more pedestrian-friendly Kings Highway actually registered more pedestrian deaths.

The report covering the years 2006-08, released by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, found that Kings Highway was tied for eighth with seven pedestrian deaths.

This includes two deaths in 2006, one in 2007 and four in 2008.

Of these deaths, the latest occurred at the intersection of East 98th Street when a six-year-old male was struck by a car on Sept. 26, 2008.

City Councilmember Lew Fidler, whose district crosses Kings Highway at several points, noted the thoroughfare is one of the longest in Brooklyn going from East 98th Street all the way into Gravesend and thus the study is slightly flawed.

“It’s not logical. Tell me what accident statistics are per mile of street and then tell me what is the most dangerous. Kings Highway is an incredibly long street and that’s an arbitrary way to look at it,” said Fidler.

Ocean Parkway was tied for 17th in the study with six deaths including one in 2006, three in 2007 and two in 2008.

Neptune Avenue was tied for 24th in the study with five deaths including zero in 2006, four in 2007 and one in 2008.

While most of the deaths include senior citizens, the study does not take into account a 2009 Bloomberg initiative called the Safe Streets for Seniors program, in which improvements have been made at several of the high pedestrian death areas.

This includes Ocean Parkway being narrowed with pedestrian islands and left turn bays between Neptune Avenue and Brighton Beach Avenue and more time has been given for pedestrian crossing.

Neptune Avenue was also calmed with a channelized buffer and a bike lane between Ocean Parkway and West 5th Street.

Additionally, the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) has studied and improved major intersections along Kings Highway and Atlantic Avenue.

“Traffic fatalities are at their lowest levels in the city’s history, but we remain vigilant about enhancing safety and are expanding our efforts to make our streets even safer for everyone,” said DOT spokesperson Scott Gastel.

“Through programs targeting seniors and schoolchildren, DOT has undertaken the largest traffic-calming initiatives in the nation to target our most vulnerable pedestrians,” he added.

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