April 2, 2015 By Christian Murray
A new traffic light is going up on the corner of Skillman Avenue and 51st Street.
The light represents another victory for local residents and elected officials who have been fighting for years to improve traffic safety on Skillman Avenue.
“I am thrilled that after 5 years of advocacy, two press conferences and many letters, the Department of Transportation has agreed to install a stoplight at the intersection of 51st & Skillman,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.
In 2008, a group called the Safer Skillman Ave. Coalition was formed to put pressure on the DOT to increase the safety of the avenue.
The pressure resulted in the re-timing of traffic lights—to ensure that motorists were unable to speed through successive traffic lights—as well as the creation of bike lanes that essentially narrowed the width of the lanes.
The new traffic light is part of an ongoing quest to reduce traffic fatalities.
“This has been a dangerous, unprotected crossing for far too long. This change will make it much safer for pedestrians and vehicles alike,” Van Bramer said, in reference to the traffic light.
“This is the first in a series of expected improvements in the area including neighborhood slow zones and safety enhancements to Queens Boulevard,” he said.