After years of pressure from political leaders and residents, crosswalks are coming to Center Boulevard.
The Department of Transportation, which erected stop signs on Center Boulevard—at 48th and 49th Avenues–earlier this month, said that it would be adding pedestrian crosswalks to those locations by the end of August.
“The DOT anticipates markings will be installed next month,” said a DOT spokeswoman in a statement. “These will augment the new signs.”
However, the DOT did require a last-minute nudge by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer to include the crosswalks, since it had its doubts about adding them as late as last week. The DOT claimed that it would be difficult to paint the lines on Center Boulevard due to its granite and cobblestone surface.
Van Bramer said he was surprised by the DOT’s initial hesitation to include them. He said he asked the agency to go back to the drawing board and find a solution.
Van Bramer, who held a press conference in May that called for stops signs and pedestrian crossings, said he pushed the DOT hard to make sure the pedestrian crossings were included.
“I am glad that the DOT has found a way to do it,” Van Bramer said.
“People are concerned about the safety of their kids and families and have a right to demand a safer Center Boulevard,” Van Bramer said. “There are two parks, two schools and thousands of people who live nearby.”
Van Bramer said that many drivers treat Center Boulevard like a speedway. He said that there were five serious accidents on Center Boulevard during the first few months this year, citing data from the local 108 police precinct.
He said that he had spoken to Captain Brian Hennessy, the commanding officer of the 108th Precinct, and asked him to make sure drivers are stopping at the new stop signs.
The DOT also said it is working with the NYPD on enforcement-related concerns.