After learning about the tragic death of a child near Prospect Park last year, the FC Select Youth Soccer Club, which practices and plays in Bushwick Inlet Park, organized a petition for traffic lights near park entrances.
Jamie Zeppernick, director of the soccer club, said that following the accident the team set out to create a safer space for their own kids.
“We just thought it was a matter of common sense,” Zeppernick said. “There are no crosswalks, there are no traffic lights, and there are no stop signs.”
With the larger influx of children in the area, Community Board 1 Transportation Committee chair Karen Nieves said she has been writing letters to the city calling for the city to address the dangerous conditions.
“After years of signal studies and advocacy on behalf of the community, I am thrilled to hear DOT has finally approved the traffic signals on Kent Avenue at North 8th and North 9th streets,” Nieves said. “The parents and children who visit our park can now safely cross the street without fear of being hit by vehicles.”
Assemblyman Joseph Lentol said that while mew traffic lights and crosswalks have been approved, the streets currently remain a threat to anyone who attempts to cross into the park.
“Now that we have it, we want to know when we’re going to get it,” Lentol said. “It’s going to take all of us again to make sure that we’re vigilant with the Department of Transportation that we want it sooner rather than later. They don’t have a definite date in mind now, but we’re going to get them to come up with a date.”
Lentol added that he would consider asking the city for crossing guards until the lights are installed.
“Especially now that the summertime is coming, it’s important,” he added.