The installation of new all-way stop signs at 46th Avenue and Fifth Street in Long Island City was celebrated by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and members of the community outside PS/IS 78 last Thursday afternoon.
The stop signs had been installed earlier in the month.
“When stop signs appear we know that they make everyone, including especially children, much safer,” said Van Bramer, who called it a “local-driven victory.”
The councilman said he had been fighting for the signs for seven years.
“Sometimes it takes longer than we would like but all of this is a lesson in government and in persistence and fighting for the things that you believe in,” Van Bramer said. “And when people come together and they fight for the things that they believe in, good things happen. Particularly when children are involved, it’s a great lesson in civics and about the power to demand change and then actually accomplish change that benefits our neighborhood.”
City Department of Transportation Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia noted Van Bramer demanded the traffic-calming treatment years ago.
She said the DOT kept coming back and looking at the location and giving it other treatments, such as curb extensions to shorten the crossing distance for schoolchildren.
“We kept studying this location,” Garcia said. “It’s a science. There is a formula. But we knew that there was a school here. We wanted to make it as safe as can be.”
Bree Chambers, co-president of the PTA at PS/IS 78, pointed out “how important it was and crucial it was to have the stop sign with all the traffic and the buses that come through here to pick up the children and the walk patterns in Long Island City, so we’re so grateful to have the stop sign put in.”
She added how it’s safer for students to attend art classes at the Plaxall Gallery.
Paula Kirby, managing director of Plaxall Inc., said, “We’re just glad the stop sign came in before there was an accident.”
In a statement, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) said, “I applaud the NYC Department of Transportation for their work to install an all-way stop at a bustling intersection in Long Island City. The safety of New Yorkers remains a top priority for the DOT and I am happy to see the increased safety features in my district.”