Monday, November 23, 2015


  Department of Transportation Has Approved the Installation of a Traffic Signal at Independence Avenue and West 235th Street

   In an effort to create a safe environment outside of Public School 24 Council Member Andrew Cohen, Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz and Congressman Eliot Engel penned repeated requests to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for a traffic light at the intersection of Independence Avenue and West 235th Street.

With two large schools in close proximity to the intersection of Independence Avenue and West 235th Street can become extremely busy and congested during arrival and dismissal times, making it difficult for students and parents to safely cross the street. Despite efforts to reduce traffic flow by parents carpooling, walking or taking public transportation, the issue continued to persist.

After conducting a traffic study, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved the installation of a traffic control device at this intersection and is expected to be installed by February of 2016.

“My colleagues and I have been insisting on the installation of this traffic light for quite some time. This particular area sees an overflow of pedestrians and motorists with several large residential buildings, schools and a library nearby. I would like to thank DOT for hearing the concerns of my neighbors and agreeing that this is the safest solution for everyone,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen.

“This new traffic signal will significantly improve safety for not only P.S. 24’s students and teachers, but for all residents in our neighborhood. I originally requested this traffic signal because of my concern, and the concerns of parents, that this intersection where P.S. 24, the Spuyten Duyvil Library, and Seton Park all come together was an accident waiting to happen. I am happy the City Department of Transportation listened to the concerns of the community and its elected officials,” said Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz.

“Council Member Cohen, Assemblyman Dinowitz, and I have been asking for this traffic light on West 235th Street and Independence Avenue for many years,” said Congressman Eliot Engel. “With two schools, a library, Seton Park, and several large residential buildings all within a 2 block radius of the intersection, an additional traffic light will provide better safety for motorists and pedestrians. I thank NYC DOT for listening to us and acting to improve traffic safety in our community.”

“DOT is happy to continue working with Councilmember Cohen and the local community to implement this much needed traffic signal,” said DOT Bronx Borough Commissioner Constance Moran. “The signal will help students and parents of P.S. 24, as well as all who cross this intersection, travel more confidently and safely.”

    This issue first came up during the 2009 City Council campaign when one candidate was trying to pander to parents, because their children had to cross Independence Avenue at this intersection to attend classes in the Whitehall Annex. The Whitehall Annex lease was not renewed by the Department of Education, and after June of this year public schoolchildren will no longer have to cross Independence Avenue at this intersection to attend any classes.
   Will the buses that have to double park on West 235th Street as well as the parents who double and triple park around the school end now that this traffic light will be installed? Another question to our local elected officials is, since there is no enforcement of the current traffic regulations what makes you think people will stop at this light?
   When there are many more accidents similar to those that occur at intersections where traffic lights are will that change anything? Just three traffic lights at four intersections in a row of a street that has children only half of the year. The other half of the year we will see what happens, the residents suffer.
   So does this mean comes the end of June this year the new traffic light put in especially so P S 24 students could cross Independence Avenue to go to the Whitehall annex and to the main school building will be removed? 
   Viva our local elected officials, Mayor Bill deBlasio is getting what he wants a traffic light on almost every corner. What is next for our local elected officials to give their beloved mayor, pedestrian islands on Independence Avenue?

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