Prospect Heights

[Press Release] Following Underhill Avenue crash, street safety advocates highlight efficacy of ‘bike boulevard’ treatment

February 26, 2024

BROOKLYN — Early yesterday morning, the FDNY responded to a motor vehicle crash on Underhill Avenue in Prospect Heights following reports that a sedan had collided with a dumpster on the street, according to FDNY incident filings. The collision, which involved a vehicle with a history of speeding, marks the first motor vehicle crash on Underhill Avenue in 2024, a street where Mayor Adams halted construction on a bike boulevard and corresponding safety improvements in September.

The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council (PHNDC) called attention to the crash, highlighting the effectiveness of bike boulevards across the City at improving safety and reiterating their demand that the treatment be completed on Underhill Avenue.

“It’s fortunate nobody was seriously injured, but we don’t want to rely on luck to keep our community safe,” said Gib Veconi, Chair of PHNDC. “Bike boulevards across the city have been shown to dramatically increase safety, and the Mayor needs to follow through on his administration’s plans to bring that life-saving infrastructure to Prospect Heights.”

Bike boulevards are a standard treatment in the Department of Transportation’s toolkit. They help create and maintain “quiet” streets that benefit residents and improve safety for all road users. Recent implementation of this treatment occurred on Williamsburg’s Berry Street and in 2021 on Queens’ 39th Avenue. Both locations saw notable decreases in crashes following completion of the bike boulevards.

Source: Crashmapper NYC

On 39th Avenue, there have been only three crashes since it was designated an Open Street in 2020 and the bike boulevard was subsequently installed in 2021.

Underhill Avenue had a history of crashes prior to being designated an Open Street in 2020. NYPD crash data shows a significant reduction in crashes following the Open Street designation. Completing the bike boulevard would make this traffic calming permanent.


Mayor Adams ordered work be stopped on Underhill Avenue in September, claiming that more community input was needed before moving forward, despite two prior years of outreach conducted by DOT. To date this outreach includes:

  • 2 online surveys conducted by DOT
  • 5 DOT on-street workshops
  • 4 presentations to the local community board
  • Door-to-door outreach on Underhill Avenue conducted by City Hall’s Community Affairs Division in November, 2023

DOT’s own survey shows significant local support for the project.

Source: Underhill Bike Boulevard Community Board 8 May 2023 

“It is a fact that completing the bike boulevard will make our streets safer. We look forward to hearing the Mayor’s decision and hope we’ll soon be able to focus on creating vibrant, equitable public spaces in Prospect Heights rather than continue a tug-of-war with City Hall about already-promised safety improvements,” added Veconi.

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