Staten Island DA Joins Fight to Add Traffic Light on Richmond Hill Road

By Nicholas Rizzi on April 2, 2014 2:24pm 

 District Attorney Dan Donovan has joined organizers of a youth golf league to push the city to add a traffic light on Richmond Hill Road to make it safer for players at LaTourette Park and Golf Course who have to cross the busy street to finish the course or hit the driving range.
District Attorney Dan Donovan has joined organizers of a youth golf league to push the city to add a traffic light on Richmond Hill Road to make it safer for players at LaTourette Park and Golf Course who have to cross the busy street to finish the course or hit the driving range.
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DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi

NEW SPRINGVILLE — Staten Island's District Attorney Dan Donovan has joined local golfers and called on the city to add a traffic light on a road that snakes through a Staten Island golf course.

The public LaTourette Park and Golf Course is split by Richmond Hill Road, forcing players to dodge traffic to complete their 18 holes or hit the driving range. Golfers have pushed to add a traffic signal to make it safer to cross.

“My paramount concern is the safety of the golfers, particularly the junior golfers who play that course, and the drivers who traverse the winding, narrow roadway,” Donovan said.

“I golf there myself and know firsthand just how near impossible it can be to try and safely cross the street while carrying golf clubs and gear, all the while hoping that passing vehicles will slow down and stop.”

Debbi Mastromarino, president of the New York City Junior Golf Club, started the push to add the traffic light to the road after the nearly 250 kids in her program had to relocate to LaTourette in February when the Staten Island Golf Center closed.

"It feels like a big coup," Mastromarino said about Donovan's support. "We're just thrilled about it."

Mastromarino said that since she made her pitch to Community Board 3 last month, support has come in for the idea. The group collected more than 600 signatures for a petition in just two weeks, and has received numerous positive comments about the idea.

"It is great it's getting the recognition," she said. "People don't understand why it's taken so long."

The Department of Transportation previously told DNAinfo New York that they added flashing yellow lights to increase safety, but will look at the area again.

"Safety is the DOT’s top priority and earlier reviews of this location resulted in the installation of flashing warnings signal and increased signage," said spokesman Nicholas Mosquera.

"Following the recent community request, the agency will conduct another intersection study and see if additional traffic controls are feasible."

While Donovan said he would leave the final decision up to the DOT on the intersection, he urged the agency to work fast.

“I would hate for there to be a fatality or injury at this crossing point," he said. "Now is the time to take preventative action."

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