BY TRISHA SAKHUJA
On Oct. 25, nursery school children and Woodside seniors took matters into their own hands with Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) by erecting their own stop sign at the intersection of 47th Avenue and 60th Street.
According to Van Bramer, the stop sign is a symbol of the community’s resolve in response to the Dept. of Transportation’s failure to erect a stop sign because for three years now, the DOT has refused his request to introduce traffic calming measures along 47th Avenue between 59th and 61st Streets.
“The reckless speeding and steady traffic along 47th Avenue presents serious safety hazards to countless young school children and seniors who cross this street every single day,” Van Bramer said.
“Today, the community has joined me to say enough is enough,” Van Bramer said. “We are taking matters into our own hands.”
Starting in 2010, Van Bramer contacted the DOT about the urgent need for speed humps along 47th Avenue between 60th and 61st Streets, but according to DOT’s study, no speed humps were needed at the time.
Then in August 2012, Van Bramer contacted the DOT about the need for a stop sign at the intersection of 47th Avenue and 60th Street. That December, the DOT responded by stating, “based upon [their] evaluation of data collected, we have determined that additional controls are not recommended based on procedures contained in the federal manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.”
According to DOT’s latest response to the community’s plea for a stop sign, a spokesperson said, “With regard to accident histories at this intersection, there have been no fatalities at the site from 2007 until present.”
DOT spokesperson said they will review the location to see what potential enhancements can be made, including adding a temporary speed board at the location to remind drivers of the safety reasons for adhering to the speed limit.
The area surrounding the intersection is where many children and seniors cross 47th Avenue daily. It is also home to two of the seven Big Six Towers, the co-op development’s retirement community and the Towers Play and Learn Nursery School.
Jerry LoMonte, board member of the Big Six Towers, said people crossing 47th Avenue and 60th Street know the intersection is dangerous and hazardous, and after countless petitions and pleas requesting the DOT to take further action, they are calling on the agency to look into this serious matter.
“Big Six Towers needs stop signs or speed bumps to slow down or stop traffic so our elderly and our children can safely cross,” LoMonte said.
Reach Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Tsakhuja13.