If you’re going to do a traffic study at a complex intersection adjacent to a school, following a request from the administration and the area’s community board for a new stop sign, naturally you’re going to do it in July. During the coronavirus pandemic. Right? When else would you get an accurate count of the number of students and other folk who typically walk through the intersection, as well as the vehicular traffic?
No, none of that makes sense. But it seems to be enough for the city Department of Transportation, which ruled that the messy corner of Fresh Meadow Lane and 65th Avenue and 174th Street in Fresh Meadows does not need a northbound stop sign. The request for one was made after a driver going north on Fresh Meadow made an illegal zigzag turn onto 174th, which meant going against traffic on one-way 65th for a few feet, and hit a child attending MS 216, the George J. Ryan School, which is right there. People must find that zigzag move tempting; there’s a special sign there warning against it. But the DOT did a study and determined that neither the pedestrian nor vehicular counts were high enough to warrant a new stop sign.
Well, of course not, it was July. And there’s a pandemic going on.
Wiser than the DOT, area civic leader Jim Gallagher wants another study done during regular school hours. Unfortunately, student foot traffic will remain down thanks to blended learning. But maybe it will be enough. We urge the DOT to do another study — or maybe just install the darn sign.