Vehicles cut down 49th Ave. from the Pulaski Bridge in order to gain access to the Midtown Tunnel just a few blocks away. This has led residents to notice trucks and cars speeding down the block off the exit ramp.
Pedestrians fear that with a lack of crosswalks and signage, drivers won’t understand that people are crossing the street.
“We desperately, desperately need signage,” said Linda Chau, a resident of Lhaus, at a press conference during rush hour one morning earlier this week. “This building is about babies and dogs.”
Miguel Gonzalez fears crossing the street with his child. He said there have been occasions when he has had to stop in the middle of the street because a vehicle almost hit him.
“It’s very difficult to cross with a toddler,” he said. “It can be complicated because the trucks driving off the bridge do not see very well.”
While no fatalities have occurred at the intersection, residents don’t want to wait until that accident occurs to take safety measures.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s office contacted the Department of Transportation (DOT) in November 2012 and requested that a study be done at the intersection to determine if a crosswalk and other traffic-calming measures needed to be put in place.
However, DOT determined that no changes needed to be made at the intersection.
“Safety is DOT’s top priority and the agency will be studying the Hunter’s Point area for a future capital project that will be designed to enhance safety and improve mobility for this growing area,” said a DOT spokesperson. “In the short term, the agency is taking a look at signage in the area.”
“Obviously, I strongly disagree,” said Van Bramer. “I will never understand why the DOT that is charged with making our streets and sidewalks safe fail to act when they are told about a serious situation.”