Woodpoint Road traffic light

Let there be stoplight! Williamsburgers get traffic signal after 22-year wait

The Brooklyn Paper
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Talk about a long wait for a stoplight.

Williamsburg residents rejoiced when the city installed a traffic light at the intersection of Woodpoint Road and Withers Street last week — 22 years after neighbors first requested it.

“We’re really excited, we’ve been fighting for an extra light,” said Community Board 1 member Tish Cianciotta. “We’re meeting people in the street, and they’re saying ‘Thank god!’ ”

Cianciotta, her husband, Guido, and members of the Withers Street Block Association started pestering the city to slow motorists at the busy corner in 1992 — but officials swatted down their requests, nixing a 2008 push for traffic calming measures even though a police cadet died in a motorcycle accident one block away three years earlier.

Cianciotta says she finally swayed the city after 2010 Census data proved the area has experienced a population surge and now needs streets that are friendlier for pedestrians.

In one 15-block stretch between Humboldt Street and Metropolitan, Meeker, and Kingsland avenues, the population skyrocketed 45.8 percent to 3,318 people. In another plot between Manhattan Avenue and Humboldt, Richardson, and Devoe streets, the number of residents rose 18.7 percent to 2,645 people.

Those newcomers — along with longtime neighborhood residents — cross Woodpoint Road regularly to shop at a Bravo Supermarket on the corner, according to Cianciotta.

“When Guido and I go to the supermarket, Guido would have to look to the right and I would have to look to the left,” she said. “It’s difficult to cross if you’re going alone — you don’t know which way to look.”

Department of Transportation officials say they installed the light — which is equipped with a countdown clock giving pedestrians 13 seconds to cross Woodpoint Road — after conducting a study at the intersection in February following a request by Community Board 1.

Public officials said it was time for the corner to slow down.

“Woodpoint and Withers is a very dangerous spot and it’s only become more dangerous as our community grows,” said Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D–Greenpoint), who wrote several letters endorsing the light. “This will provide for safer streets for everyone.”

But the Cianciottas aren’t done fighting for pedestrian safety yet. The couple wants another traffic light on Humboldt and Withers streets — a semaphore they have been requesting since 1983.

“That’s still in the works,” Cianciotta said. “We’re still hoping to get that.”

Reach reporter Aaron Short at or by calling (718) 260-2547.

Updated 4:15 pm, June 20, 2012: Story updated to correct another geographical error.
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Reader Feedback

local kid from Bkl says:
I saw this Monday. Would someone please tell the bicycle riders that the light applies to them too? It's almost more dangerous now. You have the light to cross and some idiot comes right through the red! There are kids and families here. Be careful!
June 20, 2012, 8:36 am
Anywho says:
22 years? Everyone in government involved in this matter should be ashamed of themselves.
June 20, 2012, 10:35 am
Walker from Bklyn says:
Thirteen seconds to cross the street? Good luck, everyone who isn't young and healthy!
June 20, 2012, 10:58 am
Ben from Greenpoint says:
according to my knowledge 22 years is pretty fast.. about bicycles they never follow rules till the city will enforce rules and regulations made them pay for reregistration, insurance, taxes etc like car owners are paying.....
June 20, 2012, 11:30 am
Thor from Greenpoint says:
It is great that this light was finally installed after all of these years (and I noticed it the other day when I walked to the Staples a couple of blocks away). But someone should do some fact checking - Humboldt St and Woodpoint Road do not meet.
June 20, 2012, 12:01 pm
Thor from Greenpoint says:
I believe that the correct intersection is Withers St and Woodpoint Road.
June 20, 2012, 12:03 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
How can you not know which way to look when crossing the street? And still be alive, I mean.
June 20, 2012, 1:32 pm
Thor from Greenpoint says:
OK - Partial correction done. In a later paragraph, it states "giving pedestrians 13 seconds to cross Humboldt Street" regarding the countdown clock. Since Humboldt St is a block away, that would not be enough time to walk the block and cross the street.
My big question is - I know that this is a free paper, but are the writers and editors paid for their work? If so, I think some of us in the discussion board should get a consulting fee for doing the editing and fact checking that seems to be sorely missing.
June 20, 2012, 1:59 pm
ty from pps says:
“When Guido and I go to the supermarket, Guido would have to look to the right and I would have to look to the left,” she said. “It’s difficult to cross if you’re going alone — you don’t know which way to look.”

Oh Lord...
June 20, 2012, 4:01 pm
s from ppw says:
ty and mike, I don't see anything wrong with what they said. Given how fast cars speed sometimes you need two sets of eyes to make sure you're clear to cross. i'm sure she knows how to look both ways, but i've definitely been in situations where i look one way, look the other and start to step out only to have a car come from the other direction and almost hit me. it can happen in a microsecond.

these people are to be commended for their perseverance, not made fun of.
June 20, 2012, 5:50 pm
Dan from PS says:
You look both ways, then charge across, eyes forward!?

There are MANY times I have found myself in the middle of a street, i.e., on the yellow line, having to *wait* for a car that was going faster than I expected. I wasn't "almost hit." That's normal. Having to pause 3 seconds because a car does not stop for you is, at worst, annoying, not a near death experience.

I saw a girl today at a crosswalk, a car was finishing the intersection on a yellow light, the girl on the sidewalk was staring at the crosswalk light, the little walk man appeared, she charged ahead without looking left or right. She was also "almost hit." Actually she almost walked into the side of the car. I guess that would count as her hitting the car.
June 20, 2012, 6:23 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklny says:
How can you not know the color of the light when you come to an intersection? And still be alive, I mean.
June 20, 2012, 6:36 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklny says:
Ty, fantastic, look at the first comment. You don't even address the complaint of a cyclist running a light. You just start blaming cars. Always blaming cars for your bad behavior. Light is up a single day and citizens are ——ing about cyclists running through it. What do you have to say about the cyclists running the light?
June 20, 2012, 6:39 pm
ty from pps says:
Swampy -- Since I don't know what you're talking about, I'm going to edit your comment first, then respond.

SwampYankee from ruined Brooklny says:
"Ty, fantastic, look at the first comment. XXXRedacted for CrazyXXX What do you have to say about the cyclists running the light?"

The cyclist shouldn't run red lights.
June 20, 2012, 6:46 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklny says:
Ty, but they do run red lights. You run red lights. You have admitted in these very forums that you run red lights. Why do you break the law and endanger citizens? You can't continue you to blame cars for your bad behavior. Stop running red lights. you are going to hurt someone
June 20, 2012, 6:55 pm
ty from pps says:
Swampy - you should see if Tal will share his meds with you.
June 20, 2012, 7:44 pm
Old time Brooklyn from Slope says:
what a pack of mean spirites arse wipes - i can count on one hand - tops the other three fingers wacth how mr and mz tolerance ponce) 1000'sf pedalphles break all the rules - go figure - why not run the old biastatdes down and put there homes at 'market rate; = as it is only fair - they have obviously lived way too much
June 20, 2012, 10:38 pm
Old time brooklyn from Slope says:
ty , tal and swampy have a very bromance going on that should meet up in the park on shore road or the vail in prospect park that some idiots cleaned up so those like minded folks could butter buns and be green about it - - just an observsation of the passion and intensity - ya think lol
June 20, 2012, 10:43 pm
ty from pps says:
And Old Time Brooklyn has been drinking again...
June 20, 2012, 10:43 pm
Old time Brooklyn from Slope says:
ty - aka shmeckela - - you have lots of intense fingers for swamp and tal - the posts kind of show it - mazel tov - no judgements - not that there is any thing wrong -
i prefer reefer
June 20, 2012, 11:03 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I don't understand why pedestrians think they need special traffic lights to cross the street. They should just follow the rules and they'll be fine. Pedestrians don't pay taxes and tolls. Traffic lights have been found to be only a short-term solution, but we should be thinking in the long term. Just like Hamas keeps fighting for evil, this 22 years campaign eventually got its way, but they're just thinking short term.
June 21, 2012, 12:08 am
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
So anyone that feels that cycles should stop are red lights needs medication? That's the cyclist position? How fair to the 99.5% of New Yorkers that don't cycle daily that you have placed your wants above the wants and needs of every other citizen New York.
June 21, 2012, 8:10 am
ty from pps says:
Yes, Swampy. Obviously, that's what I'm saying. Clearly.
June 21, 2012, 11:37 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
That couldn't have been me posting at 8:10 b/c I was away from my computer eating a tub of Kentucky Fry.
Ty, I know it is you so just cut it out, Mr. IdontpostunderthesamenameeventhoughIamthesameperson. In my view, that is a hit way below the belt and is the mark of a coward. Back to the issue. Even though I did not write that undebunkable remark at 8:10 I do agree that there should be no special considerations for pedestrians as there are less of them and nobody needs to walk, but most of us need to drive. In my opinion, many pedestrians are like bikers: underworked and overpaid, or leeching of off the taxpaying motorists. Don't attack me for saying this, as it is my opinion which I know many share. Stop with the impersonations which is nothing less than a form of hamasing.
June 26, 2012, 9:29 am
Ann from Williamsburg says:
Are you people 5 years old ? Because that's how it sounds. Now about no special considerations for Pedestrians... well how about this... people walk alot slower than cars travel. And how about this... if a pedestrian hits a car, they most certainly will not kill the driver (and may not even dent the car). If the car hits the pedestrian, the pedestrain will get injured or even killed. AND you can't classify people as either motorist or pedestrians... because EVEN motorist are pedestrians. As soon as you get out of your car, you become a pedestrian my dear. Do you walk from your parking spot ? Do you walk across the street to your apt ? or to a store ? Are you not during that time a pedestrian ??
And this is the big city, where traffice moves fast, lots of it. AND pedestrians were around hundreds of years before bikes or cars were. Still think pedestrians need no special consideration. Well if you ever get run over, you will change your mind. I take it you are not a considerate driver either ?
July 1, 2012, 4:47 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
When will NYC realize that the more traffic lights it installs, the less safe it will make things? NYC already has over ten times the number of traffic signals of other comparably-sized cities like Chicago. We should be removing ten signals for every new one we install. Studies have shown over and over again that overused traffic controls tend to be treated casually by all street users. NYC constantly uses traffic lights where a stop sign might suffice, and stop signs where yield signs would be good enough. 70 years of studies show traffic lights don't make things any safer for pedestrians. It's a shame ignorant community boards continue to think traffic lights are some kind of panacea. Try using roundabouts instead. Roundabouts force traffic to slow to a safe ~20 mph at each and every intersection. Traffic lights are NOT a safety device, and they're not a traffic calming device. They're a stupid idea from the 20th century which deserves to be buried once and for all. All they do is cause everyone unnecessary delay, while making things less safe by lulling people into a false sense of complacency.
July 5, 2012, 12:27 pm

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