Oct. 13, by Nathaly Pesantez
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer is calling on the Department of Transportation to install a traffic light at a Sunnyside intersection that residents say is hazardous.
Van Bramer made the announcement at a press conference yesterday right at the intersection of 42nd Street and 47th Ave, across from the Thomas P Noonan playground, where he was joined with students and faculty from the nearby P.S. 343.
“For years, the traffic at this intersection has endangered the safety of countless students, parents, and other members of the Sunnyside community,” Van Bramer said in a statement.
The council member said his office has received countless requests from area residents about the intersection and its dangers. Currently, the intersection only has a stop sign at 42nd Street, with drivers regularly pull up just past it, due to parked cars blocking the way and a stop line set far back from the intersection, to check for cars traveling in both directions on 47th Avenue.
Van Bramer said the crossing is used daily by elementary school students attending P.S. 343 a block away, and by children and families going into Thomas Noonan Playground.
“We must act before a child loses their life,” Van Bramer said. “We can avoid crashes here and must act now.”
According to DOT data on traffic safety since 2009, the intersection has seen two pedestrian injuries—one in 2009 and another in 2013. No vehicular crashes or deaths have been reported at the intersection.
A spokesperson for the DOT said the intersection has been studied several times, with the most recent study done in June. None of the inspections met the qualifications to warrant a traffic signal, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that enhancements, like signing and markings, have been added in the past two years, and that the agency is looking into alternative safety improvements for the intersection.