ASTORIA — Local officials are calling for an investigation after the traffic lights at the intersection of 31st Street and Ditmars Boulevard — one of the busiest intersections in Astoria — failed three times in the last two weeks, setting up a potentially dangerous situation, officials said.
So far there has not been an accident, but Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) says that “Relying solely on drivers’ and pedestrians’ use of caution as they cross these streets is foolhardy and unacceptable."
The intersection is only a half-block from the last stop on the N/Q subway line and is surrounded by commercial businesses and bus stops.
The most recent failure took place last Friday during the morning rush — the third time in the last two weeks.
It's not clear how long the lights were not functional during the outage, but the problem has also occurred sporadically in the past, officials say.
“I urge DOT to look into what is causing these traffic lights to fail so often and either permanently fix the problems or replace the lights completely in order to ensure the safety of passersby,” said Gianaris who, along with Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and Council Member Peter F. Vallone, sent a letter to the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) asking it to fix the problem.
After receiving the letter, DOT inspected and repaired the signal that same day, agency officials said Thursday.