School bus flips in Mid-Ville
by Kayla Borg
Dec 03, 2009 | 3357 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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The intersection of 69th Road and 75th Street, where a school bus flipped over after being hit by a car. Residents say the road needs stop signs for safety.
A school bus of terrified preschoolers flipped over on Tuesday in Middle Village, causing a state of disorder on a hazardous stretch of 69th Road.

The crash has struck a chord with local residents who live on or near the residential side street, which has become a hotbed for traffic accidents this year.

The Positive Beginnings’ elementary school bus turned over on 75th Street and 69th Road after being hit by a car making a turn off of 75th street.

There were no serious injuries in the crash, but residents and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley say the incident sheds new light on a serious traffic safety problem.

Last year, a motorcycle crash on 69th Road left a man dead, and an accident similar to Tuesday’s involved the overturning of an Access-A-Ride. Just a few weeks ago, a child’s foot was run over by a passing car there.

In four separate letters to the city’s Department of Transportation, Crowley has requested All-Way stop controls and speed bumps to impede reckless drivers.

“We can no longer wait; given today’s accident,” Crowley wrote in a letter to Queens Borough Commissioner Maura McCarthy on Tuesday, “We must take immediate action.”

McCarthy responded to the letters only once in June, reporting that a DOT traffic study concluded all-way stop signs on the road were not warranted. The DOT did, however, follow up by installing a “Stop” word message on 76th Street, as well as a “Stop Ahead” sign.

Middle Village residents said Tuesday’s accident makes clear those measures were not enough.

“There needs to be All-way stop signs on this road,” said Jim Feeny, who lives on 69th Road. He said reckless speeding on the road is a daily occurrence.

“People use 69th as a venue for bypassing Metropolitan Avenue,” Feeny said, adding that through traffic is especially heavy between 7 and 9 a.m. every morning.

Joseph Hauck, who lives on 78th Street, said speeding has gotten so bad he fears even stop signs might not do the trick. “Unfortunately, stop signs might not be enough because people don’t read too well,” Hauck said. “Especially the word ‘Stop’.”

A DOT spokesperson said the transportation department would continue its evaluation of the 75th Street and 69th Road intersection in order to enhance safety for all pedestrians and drivers.

In the meantime, the spokesperson said, the DOT plans to install new “Stop” word pavement markings by the end of this month.

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