Marine Parkers are banding together to put the brakes on a notorious Stuart Street speedway, demanding the city put a stop sign on what they call a lawless two-block strip that’s an accident waiting to happen.
“I can’t believe that the city is spending millions and millions of dollars to put in bike lanes all over the place, but they can’t give us a simple stop sign,” bemoaned John Westbay, who is putting together a petition demanding more traffic controls on Stuart Street and Avenue S. “We are all concerned about safety and there have been numerous accidents here.”
Residents say there is no signage on Stuart Street between Avenue T and Fillmore Avenue. Westbay said that motorists zip down the block at high rates of speed as they make their way to Fillmore, putting families coming out of the park — and students at IS 278 — in danger.
“They hit up to 60 miles an hour as they try to make the light,” Westbay explained. “We want to avoid fatalities.”
Residents said that one wayward car slammed into a group of teacher’s vehicles parked outside the school a year earlier. Cars also zoom down the block at night, setting off car alarms and, sometimes, hitting other vehicles.
“It’s really bad here,” said Lonnie Elkin, who lives by the corner of Avenue S. “There should be a stop sign on every corner.”
Elkin said several residents — including his own eight-year-old son — avoid Avenue S and Stuart Street at all costs.
“If my son wants to go play in Marine Park, which is just across the street from us, he actually goes all the way to Fillmore Avenue, crosses at the light there, then walks all the way back to the park,” said Elkin. “He doesn’t want to get involved with all of the problems on Avenue S.”
The city says it looked into putting up a stop sign at Stuart and Avenue S five years ago, but found that the amount of traffic on the block didn’t rise to the federal mandate that requires a stop sign.
But Westbay says those tests were conducted in the summer — when school was out — so the city didn’t get a full picture of what was going on.
The Department of Transportation said it would again look at the intersection to see if the stop sign would help.
“Safety is our top priority,” city Department of Transportation spokesman Montgomery Dean said. “We will study this location to determine whether changes at the intersection are appropriate.”Reach reporter Thomas Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2525.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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