Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer gathered with residents Monday to ask the DOT to install a crosswalk and additional signage along 49th Avenue coming off the Pulaski Bridge, and on the Avenue’s intersection with 11th Street. Van Bramer also called on the DOT to conduct a traffic study of the intersection to create long term answers in reducing speed.
“It is the Department of Transportation’s responsibility to maintain the safety of our city’s pedestrians,” said Van Bramer. “The residents who live at the intersection of 49th Avenue and 11th Street in Long Island City have been ignored by DOT for far too long.”
There are two residential buildings, L Haus and Hunters View, located at the intersection and adjacent to the exit ramp off the Pulaski Bridge. This area, which has a large amount of traffic, suffers from numerous vehicle crashes, according to residents who also said they fear for their lives dodging speeding cars.
“Vehicles are allowed to speed, without stopping, coming off the Pulaski Bridge onto 49th Avenue. This creates an extremely dangerous intersection due to the lack of clear crosswalk markings and stop signs or signals,” said Greg Smith, president of LHaus Board of Managers. “As a building with 123 units with over 40 young children, it is imperative for this matter to be addressed immediately. We need a crosswalk as well as proper signage before we see anyone hurt.”
Van Bramer’s office reached out to the DOT in November 2012 to request safety measures to prevent illegal access to 11th Street as well as speeding along 49th Avenue. The agency responded in January saying the location has had “several safety improvements made,” according to Van Bramer.
“There are a variety of solutions that can be implemented immediately to make this heavily trafficked intersection safer,” said Van Bramer. “I do not understand why DOT has chosen not to take action. Now is the time to act. Not after a tragedy occurs.”
According to the DOT, the agency studied the intersection earlier this year for crosswalks and traffic control.
“Safety is DOT’s top priority and the agency will be studying the Hunter’s Point area for a future capital project that will be designed to enhance safety and improve mobility for this growing area,” said DOT spokesperson Nicholas Mosquera. “In the short term, the agency is taking a look at signage in the area.”