July 29, 2014 By Christian Murray
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.
[…] does not generate enough traffic to warrant signals and further calming measures. In 2014, the DOT first installed stop signs on 48th and 49th Avenues, and added pedestrian crosswalks there shortly […]
This is great news and a step in the right direction, but yeah, I’ve already seen drivers blowing right through the new signs. The island idea is a good one.
Dear anonymous, please remain anonymous until you have something constructive to add to the conversation.
LIC Fan, Pollyanna much? Do you even understand what the NYPD is all about?
Of course even one officer occasionally patrolling the neighborhood would make a huge difference. But the police are too busy hassling pot smokers, beating Occupy Wall Street protesters and spying on Muslims to do that. They certainly aren’t going to be watching Stop signs for law breakers. Fact is that our police haven’t been interested in simple law and order since the city nearly went broke in the 1970s. Welcome to LIC.
While I agree that more is needed, let’s recognize this as a step in the right direction. I think what is needed is enforcement and for that we need more cops. The dramatic increase in our population as well as the amenities bringing large numbers if visitors to the area require more policing in order to maintain order. Hopefully the precinct will get the staff necessary.
SC, I’ve been hearing excuses for the 108th for nearly all of my 70 years. It’s the make-believe police precinct as far as I’m concerned. They have done practically nothing in our neighborhood since they stopped beat officers decades ago.
Jimmy Van Bramer is a stud. I hope he is somehow keeping his nose clean of dirty city politics. If so, this could be our future mayor or guvnah. Props to that guy for getting stuff done for a change and not being another city pol who campaigns based on his race or religion or pandering to unions.
It is very difficult to see a stop sigh on a street as wide as Center Blvd., and the trees make it almost impossible.
There needs to be a small island in the middle of Center with a stop sign.
This is good news people!
Times up… The 108 covers more than just Hunters Point, and Hunters Point isn’t exactly a crime haven…
I was so happy to see the stop signs going up… now I can watch those intersections from my living room window and see 80% of the cars zipping right through, and the rest MAYBE slowing down a bit. No actual stopping and NO enforcement whatsoever. Seems like an easy influx of money to the city coffers to ticket all the drivers who are in too much of a hurry and too oblivious to actually obey traffic signs. Oh right, that would require effort.
And the MOST dangerous intersection on Center remains stop sign-free. The cars still zip through at 50th where a blind spot caused by the construction scaffolding endangers all the people trying to cross there. There WILL be an accident there and afterwards they can sort out blame.
“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”
These are the same cops whose precinct is almost literally next door to establishments that are getting burglarized.
I won’t hold my breath.
And what about 46th ave? Cars come roaring around the bend at 45 mph!