The Department of Transportation continues to ignore calls from local officials and residents that stop signs and crosswalks are needed on Center Boulevard.
On Friday, elected officials and parents from PS 78 took to the streets with their demands and held a press conference calling for a safer Center Boulevard.
“Center Boulevard is one of the most highly populated areas in Long Island City with multiple schools and multiple parks…yet we don’t have a single stop sign, or speed bump or cross walk to slow down traffic,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, during the press conference on the corner of Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue.
Van Bramer said that many drivers also treat Center Boulevard like a speedway, yet the Department of Transportation continues deny the community’s request to have traffic calming and pedestrian safety measures installed along the growing residential street.
Van Bramer, citing Police Precinct 108 data, said that there were five serious accidents on Center Boulevard during the first few months this year.
The DOT, however, has claimed on several occasions that traffic controls are not needed. The DOT’s opinion is based on traffic data it gathered on Center Boulevard in 2013 and various accident reports.
The department, however, has said that it will be conducting another study this summer that will take into account the number of parks and playgrounds. It will focus on Center Boulevard at 48th Avenue and 49th Avenue.
The DOT could not be reached for immediate comment late Friday.
Meanwhile, state senator Mike Gianaris, said: “This is one of the fastest growing stretches in New York and buildings are going up by the day…and not to have a single stop sign or a single light is insane and shows they just don’t get it.”
Van Bramer and local children, as a means to symbolize the need for such traffic calming measures, painted their own crosswalk on Center Boulevard and installed the so-called “People’s Stop Sign” at the corner of 48th Avenue and Center Boulevard, where PS/IS 78 is located.
“If we get a stop sign or a speed bump or crosswalks after a child is hurt…it is a failure,” Van Bramer said. “The point of good government is to avoid tragedies before they take place.”