DOT Official Watches Avenue P For A While, Agrees It Needs Safety Enhancements

DOT Official Watches Avenue P For A While, Agrees It Needs Safety Enhancements
Photo via Helene Weinstein.
Photo via Helene Weinstein.

Assemblymember Helene Weinstein and City Councilmember Alan Maisel have caught the attention of the Department of Transportation (DOT), and arranged for DOT Deputy Borough Commissioner Claudette Workman to come to Avenue P last Friday and consider making some changes to make the road safer, according to Weinstein.

Workman filmed the traffic on Avenue P and witnessed many cars blasting down the road at well over double the 25 miles per hour speed limit. What she saw convinced her that something needs to be done to make it safer, according to a press release from Weinstein’s office.

“She [Workman] was observing the speeding cars zipping down the road, cars making turns very quickly, kids being dropped off by school buses,” said Weinstein about the meeting. “There are stop signs being hidden by trees so they’re looking to increase visibility so cars that are crossing P have an easier time.”

Besides the stop signs, some ideas that are being tossed around include installing speed bumps and/or all-way stop signs, daylighting some intersections so cars don’t park on the corners which would make it easier to cross Avenue P, and increasing enforcement of speeding laws.

The DOT is, according to Weinstein, looking at Avenue P from East 36 Street to Flatbush Avenue — a seven block stretch.

This push for change comes after a 9-year old boy was struck on December 9 after a car collided with a box truck and jumped the curb. They boy suffered a fractured skull and a ruptured spleen.

“I don’t know how he is a week later but he was very seriously hurt. It was pretty scary,” said Weinstein. “Even though there isn’t a school there you have a congregation of children. It’s a very congested, well-traveled intersection. Even with all of us standing there, there were still cars zipping by.”

The DOT held a study in August to determine if the intersection of Ryder Street and Avenue P was suitable for traffic controls. According to the DOT, the location didn’t meet the nationally recognized traffic engineering safety standards for traffic controls. But now it seems they’ve had a change of heart.

“We’ve had situations where we’ve gone back and forth to them several times and it took until the fourth time to get the warrants. It depends on a number of factors like preventable accidents,” said Maisel. “If someone’s driving drunk then it’s not a preventable accident. What is important is that they recognize that avenue P is ripe for some changes.”

The DOT did not get back to the Bites’ inquiry about the meeting in time for publication. We will update if and when they respond.

Yosef Segal, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Council of Marine Park, and Nachman Mostofsky, a neighbor who started a petition to give Avenue P all-way stop signs, were also present at the meeting with Workman, according to Weinstein.

[Update 4:48pm]: The DOT got back to us and confirmed their plans for Avenue P:

DOT plans to implement the following safety enhancements at the intersection of Avenue P and Ryder Street:
–          Install speed humps on Ryder Street
–          Conduct a feasibility study for speed humps on Avenue P
–          Conduct a feasibility study for an All-Way Stop control
–          Upgrade existing stop signs to a larger size in order to improve visibility
–          Daylight two corners on Avenue P and Ryder Street to allow for more visibility for turning vehicles at the intersection