HUNTERS POINT — Speeding cars turning off the Pulaski Bridge onto a residential block that's home to a growing number of young families need to be stopped before a tragedy occurs, locals warned this week.
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and neighborhood residents are calling for a crosswalk and additional traffic signs to slow down the traffic at a busy intersection near residential 49th Avenue and 11th Street in Long Island City.
"This building is all about babies and dogs, and so if it’s not strollers, it’s puppies crossing the street, and we desperately, desperately need signage," said Linda Chow, secretary for the board of managers at LHaus, a 123-unit condo building at the corner of the intersection, which she says currently houses 40 children under the age of 5.
"Hopefully this comes soon, because any day, a tragedy could happen," said LHaus resident Miguel Gonzalez, who said he regularly struggles to cross 49th Avenue with his toddler son in tow.
Van Bramer said his office reached out to the Department of Transportation last year to ask for upgrades at the intersection, which has two large condo buildings on either corner. He said he was told at the time that safety improvements had already been made at the location and no further changes were warranted.
A DOT spokesman said Monday that the department is exploring signage in the area in the short term and is also planning a larger study of the neighborhood.
"Safety is DOT's top priority and the agency will be studying the Hunters Point area for a future capital project that will be designed to enhance safety and improve mobility for this growing area," a spokesman said via email.
Van Bramer said he's not aware of any fatalities at the intersection, but he said he has heard from constituents about several car crashes being witnessed there.
"It is unacceptable to wait for tragedy to occur," he said. "We are looking at more and more families moving to this block, to this particular area of Long Island City, which would only make make these changes more important and more timely."