Dec. 16, 2013 By Christian Murray
Many pedestrians who cross the 49th Avenue/11th Street intersection are often at risk, since many drivers go speeding through the intersection as they exit the Pulaski Bridge.
The problem is most acute for the residents of the LHaus and Hunters View buildings, which are located adjacent to the Pulaski Bridge 49th Avenue exit. These residents frequently cross the 49th Avenue/11th Street intersection as they make their way to Jackson Avenue.
“Vehicles are allowed to speed, without stopping, coming off the Pulaski Bridge onto 49th Avenue,” said Greg Smith, president of LHaus Board of Managers. “This creates an extremely dangerous intersection due to the lack of clear crosswalk markings and stop signs or signals.”
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who held a press conference about the issue this morning at LHaus, is calling on the Department of Transportation to study the area and—at the very least– install cross walks and signage, which would warn drivers about pedestrians.
Van Bramer contacted the DOT in November 2012 and requested that the agency study the intersection for crosswalks and traffic control. The DOT got back to him earlier this year and said no changes were necessary.
“The residents…have been ignored by DOT for far too long,” Van Bramer said this morning. “There are a variety of solutions that can be implemented immediately to make this heavily trafficked intersection safer.”
“It is incumbent on us and them to act before a tragedy occurs,” Van Bramer said, adding that there are 40 children under the age of 5 who live in the 123-unit LHaus building.
Cars often exit the Pulaski Bridge and go down 49th Avenue as they make their way into Manhattan via the mid-town tunnel. This is a popular route for drivers, especially those from northern Brooklyn.
Linda Chow, a member of the board of LHaus, said that the residents want traffic-calming signage placed at the off ramp. “This building is about babies and puppies,” Chow said.
Meanwhile, Miguel Gonzalez, a LHaus resident, said he had once been stuck in the middle of 49th Avenue with a car right in front of him. He said the 49th Avenue intersection is particularly dangerous since there is a wall that prevents drivers from seeing the pedestrians from a distance.
The DOT said in statement that safety is its top priority and that it will take another look at the intersection. “The agency is taking a look at signage in the area,” said Nicholas Mosquera, a DOT spokesman.