DITMARS — The Department of Transportation will add traffic lights this spring at three intersections on 21st Avenue in Astoria, where local leaders have been calling for improvements for years following a pedestrian fatality in 2009.
The lights will be installed at 23rd, 24th and Crescents streets, part of an 11-block portion of 21st Avenue that currently has just two traffic lights and no stop signs, making it easy for drivers to speed.
The stretch of road — between the East River and 31st Street — is also frequented by kids from two nearby schools and a daycare center, locals added.
"It's constant disregard for the pedestrians, especially the children in the neighborhood," said Kimberly Lanical, who lives on 21st Avenue and helps run a local youth organization and says she frequently warns young people about the dangers of crossing the street.
"People just don’t stop. They don't realize how fast they're going," she added.
Officials have been asking for transportation improvements on 21st Avenue since 2009, when a 65-year-old man was struck and killed while crossing at 23rd Street. The DOT installed a speed bump at the intersection at 26th Street a year later.
"That was a great victory, but the call for traffic safety here never ended," City Councilman Costa Constantinides said. "Our neighbors deserve better."
He said the DOT is also currently studying the possibility of adding more speed bumps along 21st Avenue, as well as on other nearby streets around the northern end of Astoria Park including Ditmars Boulevard, 24th Street and Crescent Street.
"We're not done," he said.
The three traffic lights will be installed in late April, officials said.