Saturday, July 27, 2013

Whitestoners still concerned about traffic near park

From the Queens Courier:

Getting to and from a Whitestone playground is no walk in the park, some residents say.

The lack of a crosswalk or traffic controls at the 3rd Avenue and 147th Street entrance to Francis Lewis Park is dangerous to pedestrians, said Malba Civic Association president Alfredo Centola.

“It’s a beautiful park,” Centola said. “These poor kids, with their parents, whenever they come to the park to play, they have to take their lives in their hands.”

Most residents must cross three-way traffic to enter and leave the park, located at the edge of the East River, since the majority of homes in the area lie across 147th Street.

Irene Rama of Whitestone said sometimes she and her kids are forced to stop in the middle of the street to avoid an oncoming car even after stopping to look in every direction beforehand.

Residents say a piece of property, bordered by jutting construction boards, that is being developed directly next to the park impairs the vision of pedestrians trying to cross.

Centola said he has sent the DOT a letter of complaint every 18 months since 2005.

Queens Borough Commissioner Maura McCarthy mailed the civic leader a response in 2011 saying the department completed an analysis and determined “Multi-Way Stop controls are not recommended at this time.”

“Factors such as vehicular and pedestrian volumes, vehicular speeds, visibility and signal spacing were all taken into consideration in making our determination,” the correspondence reads.

Shortly after the letter, the city installed one pedestrian crossing sign in front of the park, but it only faces one direction of traffic. Centola said the sign is also too high for drivers to see.

“At this point, I’m speechless and dumbfounded,” he said. “The DOT is once again being negligent and refusing to take care of the issues.”


Anonymous said...

Maura McCarthy is no longer with DOT.
I believe she retired earlier this year.
The new Queens Commissioner has yet to raise her hand.

Anonymous said...

You need to reach out to Dutch Kills Civic - they had a problem with a stop sign and they got out a whole gaggle of politicians and publicity for a similar problem.

Of course you need to open the door to a score of 10 story hotels into your community but the Queens pols just calmly call that 'collateral damage' needed to get their attention and interest.

Anonymous said...

That centola is something else. He just keeps plugging away.

Thank God for people like him in our communities.

Thanks centola

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but until there is a serious accident or fatality, the DOT is not interested. Maybe someone can invite Dan Halloran to a pagan festival at the park ... or tell him that some girls are having a Sweet 16 party there.

Anonymous said...

Right now as I type there was an accident on te corner of 147 and 3 rd avenue. The cars almost hit the kids on bikes who were crossing

Anonymous said...

Maybe if the 109 cared more about traffic and safety instead of getting in bed with local politicians or wanna bes there would be safer streets.