Long Island City residents joined Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) in a rally on Monday to call on the Department of Transportation to install a crosswalk and additional signage along 49th Avenue.
For more than a year, the councilman has advocated for these improvements to be made at the Long Island City intersection. Despite his complaints, the DOT has yet to implement safety improvements to the location.
“It is the Department of Transportation’s responsibility to maintain the safety of our City’s pedestrians,” Van Bramer said in a press release. “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 a variety of solutions that can be implemented immediately to make this heavily trafficked intersection safer. I do not understand why DOT has chosen not to take action. Now is the time to act, not after a tragedy occurs.”
A couple of large residential units are located at the intersection of 11th Street and 49th Avenue, adjacent to the off ramp of the Pulaski Bridge.
According to residents, the heavily trafficked area continues to suffer from an alarming number of vehicular collisions due, in part, to sudden lane shifts.
Van Bramer requested the DOT conduct a traffic study of the intersection in an effort to develop a long-term solution that would reduce vehicles speeding between the large housing units.
In November 2012, the councilman’s office contacted the DOT requesting that the agency implement safety measures to prevent illegal access to 11th Street as well as speeding along 49th Avenue.
DOT responded in January of this year saying: “In the past few years, there have been several safety improvements made to this location...”
Van Bramer was not satisfied with that answer.
“The residents of LHaus Condominium have been requesting the New York City Department of Transportation to provide traffic signage at 49th Avenue and 11th Street,” said Greg Smith, president of LHaus Board of Managers. “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. 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.”
The area is also home to many restaurants, bars and a comedy theater that see hundreds of patrons every month, many of whom use public transportation to travel into Long Island City.
As a result, many people are forced to cross the intersection against the light which can be especially dangerous at night when a majority of visitors come through the area.