BY LUIS GRONDA
The calls for improved safety measures outside of PS 232 continued last week.
Following another accident at the intersection of 83rd Street and 153rd Avenue in Lindenwood last week, local elected officials gathered outside the school to again call on the Dept. of Transportation to implement some kind of safety measure at the dangerous intersection.
Early last week, an elderly woman hit a family of three as she was making a left turn out of the Lindenwood shopping center across from the school. Although no major injuries occurred as a result of the accident, local elected officials and residents felt it highlights the need to improve safety for pedestrians and drivers before a major incident occurs.
“We want change now before there are headlines. We want change now before there’s a tragedy, we want change now while we can still prevent a tragic end,” Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) said at a press conference at dismissal time for the students at PS 232.
Goldfeder, along with State Sen. Joe Addabbo (D-Middle Village) and Councilman Eric Ulrich (R- Ozone Park) were all in lockstep for calling on DOT to make the intersection safer.
Addabbo and Ulrich echoed the Assemblyman’s sentiments about the intersection.
“This is an incredibly dangerous intersection where students, senior citizens, faculty at the school and community residents literally take their lives in their hands and risk their safety each and every time they cross the street,” Ulrich said.
“We don’t want to react to any more injuries, we want to prevent these accidents and hopefully a fatality,” Addabbo said.
While the press conference continued, vehicles could be seen speeding down the intersection, catching the attention of onlookers who were watching the elected officials speak. One woman even parked on the sidewalk and got out of her car to look at purses that were for sale in front of the shopping center. Police quickly told the woman to move her car once it was brought to their attention.
One resident, Barbara McNamara, said it was sad that accidents like the one last week occurred, and it does not have to be that way.
“We need action and we need it now. We’re asking the DOT to respond, not with your studies, but with action. Put something in now,” said McNamara, who is also a member of the Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic Association.
One suggestion Ulrich brought up, assuming no other traffic measure can be implemented at the site, is to include the street as part of DOT’s Safe Routes for Schools program, which focuses on safety improvements throughout schools in the five boroughs.
A DOT spokesperson emailed a statement responding to the calls for safety improvement at the intersection.
“Safety is DOT’s first priority and the agency is currently studying the area around the school for speed bumps and other possible measures to enhance safety. DOT’s Safety Education division also recently conducted a semester-long program with students on street safety. We look forward to working with the community on our shared goal of making this area safer for everyone, especially the students using these streets daily,” the agency said.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, email@example.com, or @luisgronda.