Hikind Meets DOT Commissioner at Disputed Pedestrian Island


island-boro-parkAssemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) met yesterday with New York City Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner David Wallach about the recent installation of pedestrian islands along Fort Hamilton Parkway. The meeting took place at the contested site, where Hikind was able to demonstrate to the Deputy Commissioner the extreme dangers the islands pose to first responders, firefighters and sanitation workers, as well as the frustration of business owners and motorists.

Since the installation of the islands, firefighters have reported that their response time has been slowed, while the ability of ambulance companies to swiftly reach Maimonides Medical Center has also been negatively impacted. At the Community Board 12 meeting last week, Hikind relayed an incident where a patient in cardiac arrest, who was being transported to Maimonides, died en route to the hospital after traffic was snarled because of the pedestrian islands.

“Did DOT consult with the people who live and work in this community before installing these islands?” Hikind asked Mr. Wallach. “Did you take into consideration that Maimonides is one of the busiest hospitals in New York City, with dozens of ambulance companies shuttling patients to the emergency room, where every second counts?” Hikind also asked Deputy Commissioner Wallach what criteria the DOT used in selecting the four blocks along Fort Hamilton Parkway where the pedestrian islands were installed.

Of the ongoing battle to remove the islands, Hikind said, “The fight is not over. But at least now, the DOT is listening to our concerns. If the community is as determined as I am to fight this, then with God’s help, we will be successful in getting these islands removed.”

Deputy Commissioner Wallach promised to convey Hikind’s questions and remarks to his superiors and report back to the Assemblyman. The DOT has previously defended the installation of the islands, claiming they were necessary to improve senior safety.

{Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}