(Looking northwest at the Myrtle/Wyckoff intersection before interim treatments were applied.)
The intersection junction of Myrtle, Wyckoff and Palmetto has long been a dangerous intersection in Bushwick. The NYC DOT made some changes to the intersection by adding curb extensions (thereby shortening the pedestrian crossing), and banning certain turns. However, many drivers ignored the new regulations. So the NYC decided to make additional changes, namely the new plaza at Wyckoff Ave between Gates and Myrtle Aves. Below are the reasoning behind the additional changes.
The chart above shows the top 5 intersections for pedestrian fatalities from 2009 until the present. The junction of Myrtle/Wyckoff/Palmetto ties for 2nd (with 3 other intersections) for the deadliest intersection in the entirety of New York City. The most telling aspect of this fact is the other intersections listed have more lanes for pedestrians to cross (which increases the chance of a crash). For a relatively small street to have as many crashes as a street with an 8 lanes is troubling so it spurred the DOT to act.
One of the reasons why this is a difficult intersection is because the amount of pedestrians that use Myrtle/Wyckoff/Palmetto. The illustration to the left properly shows the differences between the two. The peak usage for pedestrians for this intersection is 678 per hour. Comparing this to motor vehicles, which is 184 per hour, there is more than 3 times the amount of pedestrians than motor vehicles. This is due to Myrtle/Wyckoff/Palmetto serving as a transit hub where many people are getting on the L/M trains, the buses at the Ridgewood Bus Terminal, as well as transferring between the two.
Another reason why the intersection is among the deadliest is because of the amount of possible movements for cars in this complex intersection. Because of the geography of the intersection, there were 25 possible movements for vehicles. As the number of turns increase, the likelihood of crashes increase. To combat this, the conversion of the block into a plaza, as well as ban turns, would leave a possible 7 possible movements for cars and buses to make. Private vehicles would be able to make 4 movements through the intersection, while buses would still be able to make 3 turns. You can see the complicated turns of before, as well as the simplified turns that are in effect today, in the illustration above.