Oct. 20, 2015 By Christian Murray
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, parents and dozens of first-grade students from P.S. 343 held a rally yesterday calling for the installation of a traffic light on the corner of 47th Avenue and 42nd Street.
Van Bramer and parents claim that the intersection is hazardous for children who walk to nearby P.S. 343 and for pedestrians who want to go to Thomas P. Noonan Playground.
“We are here to keep the children of this community safe,” Van Bramer said, adding that “42nd Street and 47th Avenue is a busy intersection and it very difficult to cross the street with cars coming and going—sometimes too fast.”
There have been six collisions at the 42nd Street/47th Avenue intersection between January 2014 and August 2015, according to NYPD collision reports. Twelve people were involved, although the data did not provide a breakdown as to whether pedestrians were involved.
The first graders chanted during the rally: “We want a traffic light! We want a traffic light!” and held up dozens of letters that they had collectively written to DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg calling for the light. The letters were mailed at the end of the rally.
Van Bramer said that he has been pushing the DOT to install a traffic light at the intersection before the new school opened in September 2014. He wrote a letter to DOT insisting that the agency erect a traffic light on Aug. 12, 2013.
“For years the DOT has refused to install traffic safety measures at the intersection which is surrounded by an elementary school, playground and multiple apartment buildings which house seniors and hundreds of families,” he said.
In a letter dated Sept. 24, 2013, the DOT informed him that there was not enough traffic to warrant a light. When he reached out again in June 2014, the DOT issued him with a letter on February 13, 2015 saying one was not needed.
The DOT is currently conducting another study and Van Bramer is hopeful that with community pressure a traffic light will be installed.
“Every day that we don’t have a traffic light at this intersection we are asking families to cross in danger,” Van Bramer said.