Assemblyman Dinowitz sent a letter to New York City Department of Transportation(DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Bronx DOT Commissioner Nivardo Lopez regarding the recent installation of caution signs on the Sedgwick Avenue pedestrian island at Van Cortlandt Avenue West.
Assemblyman Dinowitz has been calling for the pedestrian island to be redesigned by DOT since 2014. The island, which sits awkwardly at the three-way intersection, is frequently hit by vehicles and has caused innumerable traffic incidents. In October of 2014 Assemblyman visited the traffic island with former Bronx DOT commissioner Constance Moran to highlight his concerns that the island was a danger to vehicles and residents of the community. Commissioner Moran agreed at that meeting to have DOT redesign the island as well as in subsequent correspondence.
Several years have gone by and despite continued and numerous phone calls, emails, and letters by Assemblyman Dinowitz to both the former Bronx DOT Commissioner as well as the current Commissioner, nothing was done to remediate this dangerous traffic island.
Finally, in January of this year, Assemblyman Dinowitz personally met with both NYC DOT Commissioner Trottenberg and Bronx DOT Commissioner Lopez to personally address the Sedgwick traffic island situation, and visited the traffic island with Lopez. Assemblyman Dinowitz was promised verbally and in a letter by Commissioner Trottenberg that they would address the situation and that “Borough Commissioner Lopez will share these design plans with you prior to construction this summer, as you requested”.
Instead, Assemblyman Dinowitz learned from an announcement made by a Bronx DOT staffer at Community Board 8’s district service meeting, that several caution signs had been installed in lieu of redesign and reconstruction of the traffic island. “Not only was the DOT promise to keep me appraised of the development and plan for redesign of the island not kept, but the promise to redesign the island itself was not kept. In my opinion these caution signs do not constitute a redesign at all and do nothing to remediate the problem of vehicles constantly hitting the island when they make left turns from northbound Sedgwick Avenue to westbound Van Cortlandt Avenue West. I was never informed that there was a new plan, and I was not even notified by DOT after they installed those pathetic caution signs instead of doing what they explicitly said they would do,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz.
We drove by the site and saw no caution signs, and what seemed to be a smaller hazard of an island where Assemblyman Dinowitz states.