Our neighborhood downtown Brooklyn based community paper recently picked up on the possibility of a traffic signal on Gerritsen Avenue. Maybe they picked up the story out of thin air because they weren’t at the meeting.
Even though they added nothing to the story at hand, they did add additional exposure – which in the end is good for us.
Residents living off of southern Gerritsen Avenue are gunning for more traffic calming measures along the strip — but they keep hitting a dead end.
That’s because the city’s Department of Transportation is only considering a single blinking yellow light along the strip — and the not the kind of action the public thinks is necessary.
“We need a traffic light, a stop sign, speed bumps — anything,” said lifelong resident Doreen Greenwood, who’s been calling for calming measures on the strip since the 1980s. “It’s very difficult to cross the street because there’s nothing to tell traffic to stop. There isn’t even a crosswalk.”
At least three intersections need lights to help control traffic, say residents who fear speeding cars will one day result in a pedestrian getting killed.
“There are a lot of people speeding by for work,” said Diane Sullivan, a mother of a two children aged five and 13. “Then they built a skateboard park and a playground for small children at Seba Avenue and there’s no way to cross the street.”
On weekends, kids and adults flock to the ball fields and playgrounds in the park, say residents.
“On Sunday morning between Channel and Devon avenues there is the All-American Soccer Club and it’s very difficult to cross the street,” said Greenwood.
George Broadhead, president of the Gerrittsen [sic] Beach Property Owners Association, notedthat church- and library-goers who cross at Gotham and Florence avenues need a safer way to get to their services.
But, with the exception of a considering a blinking yellow light near PS 277, the DOT won’t budge.
“There are no plans at this time to make changes to the stretch,” a DOT spokesman said. “But we will certainly study possible measures, such as installing stop signs, if we receive a request.”
Residents say those requests have been coming for years.
But Sullivan said the DOT doesn’t seem very serious about the problem.
“We’ve asked for speed bumps and stop signs and for whatever they can give us, and they kept saying we didn’t meet the guidelines for anything,” said Sullivan. “Then for the school, they want to do a study in the summer when PS 277 is out and they don’t have any summer programs.”
Presently, the strip has two traffic lights, one at Avenue W and another at Bijou Avenue.