Since I was first elected four years ago, I’ve put a high emphasis on providing quality, timely responses to constituent issues. I’m proud that last year my office assisted 4,376 community members solve problems such as fighting unfair tickets, accessing special-education services, addressing sanitation issues, filling potholes and repaving streets.
For this introductory column, I’d like to discuss one issue about which we receive a lot of calls from residents: requests for new traffic control devices. Residents seeking to improve safety on local streets make up hundreds of calls to my office every year. And we work with city agencies like the Department of Transportation (DOT) to make streets safer by installing new traffic signals, stops signs and speed bumps.
If you’re interested in having a new stop sign, traffic light or speed bump installed on your block, the process to begin that discussion is simple. Typically, we ask residents to join with their neighbors to gather petition signatures to demonstrate wide-spread support for the change. I will then deliver that petition to the DOT with a request that they make it a priority to review the proposal. This process normally takes approximately three months.
After the DOT reviews the proposal, including conducting on-site inspections and completing a traffic study, a final decision on whether or not to install a new traffic control device will be made. That process takes an average of another three months. Of course, in the event that a certain intersection or street needs immediate changes to help save lives and prevent injuries, we will work with DOT to further expedite the process.
One recent traffic safety issue that we were able to address was the installation of an all-way stop sign at the intersection of 14th Avenue and 55th Street in Boro Park. Following numerous accidents and near-misses at that location, I urged the DOT to take steps to improve safety for drivers and pedestrians there, including the installation of a traffic signal. Our office received numerous calls on this issue and I’m pleased we were able to work with the DOT to make this intersection safer. I’m continuing to urge the DOT to complete a traffic study to find ways to further improve safety at the intersection.
To help you begin the process of installing traffic calming measures on your street by gathering petition signatures, I have sample petitions available at my office. Please give us a call at (718) 853-2704 for a copy.
To submit questions, concerns or comments for this column, email email@example.com.
Councilman David G. Greenfield represents the 44th Council District in the City Council which includes the neighborhoods of Boro Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst.