Sunday, May 25, 2008

Another pedestrian hit in Sunset Park

Well, it's happened again. It seems that this time the accident occurred, not from any kind of driver incompetence or maliciousness, but from simple bad luck and bad timing and bad intersections. The driver stayed at the scene (unusual these days), and no tickets were issued. The hit 11-year-old was treated at Lutheran Medical Center for injuries to his leg and head.

Sunset has had more than its share of pedestrian accidents. Thankfully, this ended up being one of the less tragic examples of the dangers some Sunset Park streets pose for pedestrians. Seems like the perfect excuse for me to shamelessly plug the petition to get a Stop Sign on the corners leading into the park. I've been told that petitions don't get a lot of attention from the City, but it can't hurt, right? Right?

In a letter from Jeremy Laufer of CB7, this explanation for the methods of the DOT regarding how to determine the need for a Stop Sign shows City Wisdom at its finest:

"DOT conducts traffic studies using federal criteria to determine if a particular intersection merits a stop sign or traffic light. If traffic volume reaches a certain level, a sign or light may be required. We understand this fact and, also understanding our local community, asked if these studies could be conducted over the summer, given a park will have higher usage, especially one with a large pool, in the summer. DOT, in their wisdom, conducted the study in February of last year and, not surprisingly, it seemed that not many people wanted to use the park in the middle of winter."

Also, studies are only conducted every 18 months; the next one will be in late July or early August, apparently. At least that will be in high season. How 46th and 6th got a four-way stop sign, and the busy shortcuts from New Utrecht and Fort Hamilton Avenues didn't, I'll never understand. There are so many near misses at these park-side intersections, that I dread the truly busy park season.

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