Atlantic, Flatbush and Fourth Avenues (or, Atlantic-FourthBush) converge into the kind of chaos that only a free jazz fan could truly love. And while the wild orchestrations of John Coltrane are fine for sheet music, design like that is a nightmare for pedestrians trying to make it from one side of the intersection to the other. How to fix this helltersection where 78 pedestrians and cyclists were injured between 2010 and 2014? One designer, the Brooklyn Paper reports, suggests a traffic circle. Sure, why not?
Transportation architect Jonathan Cohn suggested the major redesign to the D.O.T. during a recent workshop studying how to redesign the Times Plaza, the triangular strip at the center of the Atlantic-FourthBush intersection. A supporter of the circle pointed out it would eliminate left turns and force cars to slow down to go around it, reducing potential accidents. The D.O.T. told Cohn there wasn't enough room for the circle, but Cohn pointed out that a P.C. Richard & Son at Atlantic Avenue is being torn down for an office tower, and by extending the street a little, there'd be room.
The D.O.T. also presented their own plan, which would involve a combination of pedestrian islands, an increased number of crosswalks, a traffic light and crosswalk at the intersection of State Street and Flatbush, and eliminating double turning lanes where Atlantic and Flatbush meet, among other changes. Which are fine, especially the State Street traffic light, but none of these moves are quite as Doritos® Bold as a traffic circle.