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Bklyn's Diciest Intersection for Pedestrians, Cyclists Is in Crown Heights

While local, smaller streets may have less traffic and fewer overall crashes, many have hidden dangers, advocates warn
Crown Heights Intersection, BK Reader
The intersection at Sterling Place and Kingston Avenue in Crown Heights. Photo: Google Maps

Some of Brooklyn's most dangerous intersections for pedestrians and cyclists can be found in Crown Heights, Flatbush, Williamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn and Boerum Hill, according to data-housing website

Roughly 40 percent of the city's intersections have single-lane streets. The localize data team took a closer look at where the most pedestrians and cyclists were injured in these types of intersections over a five-year period.

While local streets may have less traffic than multi-lane ones and fewer overall crashes, many still may have hidden dangers, stated. In the 20 most dangerous intersections, the average rate was one crash every nine months. Eight of these intersections are in Brooklyn. 

"A lot of attention has been given to dangerous large avenues and thoroughfares in recent years, and rightly so," said urban planner Alon Goldstein. "But remember that dangerous driving can, and does, still happen on quiet neighborhood streets."

Analysts cited the intersection of Kingston Avenue and Sterling Place in Crown Heights, a section where bike lanes have been added to calm traffic, as a particular concerning example. The intersection still has seen at least one crash injuring pedestrians or cyclists every year since 2013.

"Over the past five years, nearly eight percent of pedestrian and cyclist injuries or fatalities caused by traffic crashes occurred in single-lane intersections," data scientist Israel Schwartz said. "These intersections can be troublesome to those traversing them on a daily basis."

Other Brooklyn intersections where pedestrians and cyclists may want to take an extra look before crossing the street are Newkirk Avenue and Argyle Road, and Newkirk Avenue and Rugby Road in Flatbush; Lawrence and Willoughby Streets in Downtown Brooklyn; Smith and Wycoff Streets in Boerum Hill; and South Fourth and Keap Streets, South Third and Havemeyer Streets, and Hooper and South Fifth Streets in Williamsburg.

While pedestrians and cyclists are still much more likely to be struck by a driver at intersections where multi-lane streets meet than where one-lane streets intersect, all kinds of streets should be safe for pedestrians and cyclists, advocates say. 

"New York City needs to be redesigning all of its streets to comply with a Vision Zero design standard so people are safe getting where they need to go, whether they are on foot, on a bike or in a vehicle," said Thomas DeVito, senior director of advocacy at Transportation Alternatives. "This means dramatically expanding the implementation of curb extensions; daylighting every intersection; further automating enforcement against speeding, illegal parking, and right of way violations; as well as building out a comprehensive protected bike lane network. We know how to design streets so no one is killed in traffic, we need the courage to do it."