The intersection of Francis Lewis Boulevard and 121st Street in Cambria Heights has a park, traffic coming from five directions and a long history of motor vehicle mayhem.
Now it has a traffic light, and Councilmen Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) and Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) were calling it a victory for the neighborhood last Friday as the city Department of Transportation now has the light up and running.
“We have been trying to get a light here for about 10 years,” Richards said.
He said Cambria Playground, right at the intersection, poor lines of sight from some roadway approaches and a large residential community where a lot of people own cars have led to numerous accidents over the years.
“Sometimes the engineers don’t see what we in the neighborhood see,” he said. “But we’re glad that the DOT has done this.” Miller, in a statement issued by his office, said he never needed a traffic study to understand the need for a light.
“Growing up in this neighborhood, I’ve witnessed firsthand the increases in vehicle traffic that have occurred over time,” Miller said. “There has been a history of serious accidents at this intersection, some of which have taken lives. That is unacceptable.”
Miller is hopeful that this is but a first step in bringing more sensible traffic controls to residential neighborhoods and high-density traveling corridors in Southeast Queens.
So does Richards. He believes Mayor de Blasio and his new DOT Commissioner, Polly Trottenberg, will be close allies.
Richards said he was very pleased when de Blasio announced his intention to form a “Vision Zero” task force with the aim of eliminating traffic-related deaths in the city through studies of traffic, engineering, reconstruction and law enforcement.
“I’m pleased that the mayor is making it a priority and that we have a DOT commissioner who is taking it seriously,” Richards said.