Turn signal: Bright idea or a dim bulb?

This left-turn signal at Hoyt Street and Atlantic Avenue doesn't always help prevent accidents.
The Brooklyn Paper / Tom Callan

The city has installed a left-turn signal to tame one of the deadly intersections on Atlantic Avenue, but some residents say the stretch from the East River to Flatbush Avenue will remain dangerous until speeding is reigned in.

The Hoyt Street Association catalyzed the city to install the left-turn signal last week by firing off a missive to elected officials after a two-car accident at Hoyt Street on Dec. 29.

There were no serious injuries, but the accident evoked memories of the October crash that killed a 75-year-old bystander and injured another person.

The Hoyt Street Association letter reached Borough President Markowitz, who asked the Department of Transportation to install the left-turn signal to make the intersection safer.

The left-turn light enables westbound vehicles on Atlantic Avenue to turn onto the one-way Hoyt Street before giving a green light to oncoming cars.

“This could be life-saving,” said Margaret Cusack, president of the Hoyt Street Association.

Then again, the improved signal wouldn’t have prevented the Dec. 29 accident, which happened when a car ran a red light. That’s why some residents say the new turn signal (below) won’t have a big impact on safety.

“It’s isolated and there’s no continuity,” said Sandy Balboza, president of the Atlantic Avenue Betterment Association.

According to NYPD figures from 2006, Atlantic Avenue at Hoyt Street actually had far fewer accidents than other nearby intersections on Brooklyn’s avenue of death and destruction. Hoyt Street was the site of 25 accidents, compared to Boerum Place, which saw 47 crashes, and Flatbush Avenue, where there were 123 fender benders or worse incidents.

That’s why Balboza wants the DOT to reign-in would-be Mario Andrettis, but a DOT spokesman said that lights are already set to keep most drivers at a legal velocity.

Besides, he added, speeding is a police matter.

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