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City won’t give Marine Parkers stop sign at busy intersection

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Marine Parkers want the city to stop, look, and listen to their worries about an Avenue T intersection.

The city’s safety plan for a busy crossing near the neighborhood’s eponymous park, which includes speed bumps but no stop sign, turns a blind eye to the dangers, complain locals, who have long demanded a sign to halt traffic.

“Could it be the people doing the study don’t see what we see?” said a man, who didn’t give his name, at Community Board 18’s April 18 meeting where the plan was presented. “Let’s start with a stop sign.”

The Department of Transporta­tion’s plan for the intersection of E. 33rd Street and Avenue T, which borders Marine Park, aims to slow down drivers and make the crossing safer for pedestrians by doing the following:

• Adding painted crosswalks

• Installing curbs accessible for people with disabilities

• Putting up pedestrian warning sings

• Building a speed bump on E. 33rd Street heading from Avenue S towards Avenue T

The proposal stems from a community request for safer access to the park, and strives to curb the speeding locals rage over. The intersection requires action because there are no crossing markers or structures on E. 33rd Street to slow drivers down at Avenue T, according to the Department of Transportation.

“Because there are no controls there, it encourages speeding,” said a department official at the meeting.

The plan will increase visibility of pedestrians, calm traffic, and improve safety, he said.

The average speed is 28 miles per hour on E. 33rd Street between avenues S and U, which is higher than the 25 miles per hour speed limit, according to Department of Transportation statistics, and 15 percent of cars go 33 miles per hour or faster.

There have been no fatal traffic incidents at the intersection since 2009 when data became available. There have been three injuries over that same time period, however, according to Vision Zero View, which keeps statistics on traffic accidents in the city.

But many at the meeting said that a stop sign is what they really want for the busy intersection.

“Every time I drive through there, I think you’re gonna do the right thing and put a stop sign there,” said Rob Mazzuchin, who is vice president of the Marine Park Civic Association.

Mazzuchin, like others who questioned department reps after the presentation, argued that a stop sign would solve the speeding problems and make drivers more attentive to safety.

“Sometimes cars cut the turn really short,” he told this paper after the meeting. “A stop sign would force you to look up Avenue T.”

Others said the intersection needs a stop sign because it’s so busy on weekends, when kids cross there to get to the park.

“It’s very crowded,” Nancy Walby said. “There’s a lot of traffic and people. It’s dangerous.”

Several of those who spoke were not fans of the speed bump, either.

“Speed bumps create a lot of noise,” said the man who didn’t give his name.

The Department of Transportation reps said one reason they have not put up a stop sign is because it could lead to more read-end crashes. The official said the department could order a new study of the intersection to be conducted on a weekend, however. The plan for now is to speak with the community again before starting work, he added.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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