March 21, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
A Sunnyside intersection near an elementary school and a park will be getting a traffic signal after years of calls for the city to install one there.
Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Long Island City) told the Sunnyside Post that the Department of Transportation will be putting up a traffic signal at 42nd Street and 47th Avenue.
“The DOT notified me today that their latest study had come back, and they are agreeing now and have committed to installing a traffic signal,” Van Bramer said.
An approximate timeline for the signal installation was not provided, but Van Bramer hopes it will be within the next couple of months.
Demands for a traffic light at the intersection date back several years, aligning with the opening of the school in 2014.
“We’ve had multiple rallies, marches, and demonstrations with the students and principal,” Van Bramer said. “This has been years in the making and it’s absolutely thrilling.”
He added that the traffic signal will be a benefit not just for the school, but for Thomas P. Noonan playground directly across the street and the Sunnyside Library one block over.
The last time Van Bramer called for a traffic signal there was in October.
“We must act before a child loses their life,” he said during the press conference. “We can avoid crashes here and must act now.”
The DOT, however, said at the time that none of their inspections conducted at the site fit the criteria to warrant a traffic signal. The spokesperson added, however, that the agency was looking into alternative safety improvements for the intersection.
The new traffic signal at P.S. 343 comes about two weeks after the city announced that traffic lights will be going up on Skillman Avenue by P.S. 11. The community had also called for lights there for several years, and once more put pressure on the DOT to install them after the agency revealed their plans for safety measures on Skillman and 43rd Avenues, which did not include provisions for new traffic lights.
Van Bramer said the traffic lights at the schools were a necessary requirement if the city wanted to carry on with their plans for the two throughways.
The Sunnyside Post has reached out to the DOT for comment.