Bright decision: City to install traffic signal at busy Red Hook intersection

Safety first: The city will finally install a traffic signal at Van Brunt and Pioneer streets this fall.
Photo by Caleb Caldwell

It got the green light!

The city will install a traffic signal at a busy Red Hook intersection where a mother and her daughter were struck earlier this year — and it’s about time, according to locals.

“It’s a dangerous intersection, so it’s good they finally listened,” said Trevor Budd, whose tavern, Brooklyn Ice House, is on a corner of the treacherous junction at Van Brunt and Pioneer streets. “It will be good.”

The Department of Transportation confirmed last month it will put a light where the thoroughfares intersect by the end of October.

Currently, drivers turning off Pioneer Street must wait at a stop sign for two-way traffic on Van Brunt Street to pass. And to make matters worse, truck drivers traveling from the waterfront to Van Brunt Street regularly drive along Pioneer Street, where parked cars make it difficult for the big rig operators to see as they turn from one road to the other, Budd said.

There have been 21 collisions at the intersection since May 2015, according to city data.

Last May, a driver hit a mother and her 3-year-old daughter as he was turning onto Van Brunt Street. Neither was seriously injured, but the incident renewed the call for a light among neighborhood residents, who crafted petitions to the city demanding one.

The transportation department determined the signal would be feasible a few weeks ago, according to a spokeswoman, prompting cheers of victory from locals, including an area pol who credited the safety measure to residents’ determination.

“This victory for our neighborhood is important because it will improve street safety, and it shows that when Red Hook works together, we get results,” said Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D–Red Hook).

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

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