LONG ISLAND CITY — Residents in Dutch Kills are calling for more stops signs, traffic lights and crosswalks at several intersections in the neighborhood, saying current street conditions haven't kept up with a pedestrian population that's grown in recent years.
Neighbors, who said the population has exploded in part because of new residential buildings and hotels opening up, said it's become more dangerous to walk the streets.
The improvements are needed, they added, to slow down speeding cars that tear through the neighborhood to and from the nearby Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. And they pointed to several recent car accidents as proof of the danger.
"There were six car crashes that ended up on the sidewalk at four intersections in the last two or three months," said Dominic Stiller, president of the Dutch Kills Civic Association.
His wife, Jean Cawley, says just walking their 5-year-old daughter the few blocks to daycare can be perilous.
"Every day I have to deal with cars that don't stop," she said. "Even if you're walking with a kid or a baby carriage, they still don't stop."
She started an online petition asking the Department of Transportation to make a number of specific changes, including adding curb extensions on several busy corners on 38th and 39th avenues, adding a speed bump on 28th Street in front of the Growing Up Green Charter School, and adding new stop signs at the corner of 29th Street and 41st Avenue.
The Department of Transportation said its staff met recently with State Sen. Michael Gianaris, who is working with Dutch Kills residents to advocates for the changes, and that the agency is "re-evaluating" the need for more stop signs and new street markings near 39th Avenue and 29th Street.
"Safety is DOT’s first priority," a spokesman said, adding that they are also evaluating nearby Queensboro Plaza for possible pedestrian improvements.
The DOT also recently stationed "street safety manager" to help guide pedestrians and bicyclists near Dutch Kills Park, the spokesman said.