1999-11-27 / Front Page

Action At Intersection

Councilman Noach Dear (left) came to the intersection at Beach 19 street and Seagirt boulevard to discuss safety conditions with (from left) Far Rockaway resident Floyd Smith, Queens DOT Commissioner William Baier, and a DOT engineer.

By John McLoughlin

In response to a hit and run accident that killed Far Rockaway teen James Gordon on Sunday, October 31, city officials joined with residents to resolve the problems at the "accident prone" intersection at Beach 19 street and Seagirt boulevard.

Considered a dangerous intersection by the 101 Precinct, residents of the area felt Gordon's death was inevitable because of conditions at the intersection.

On Tuesday, November 23, Councilman Noach Dear, chairman of the Transportation Committee, brought Queens Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner William Baier to see first hand the concerns that residents have over the intersection.

Commissioner Baier agreed that speeding traffic and slow timing signals posed serious concerns for the elderly and handicapped residents of the area when crossing. After watching numerous speeding cars and residents attempt to move safely from one side of the street to the other, Commissioner Baier and Councilman Dear agreed to take action. Some proposals include a left turn signal study, a timing review to work out how much extra time pedestrians need to cross, and to add additional pedestrian signage.

"Once all of these are in place, they will make an impact on pedestrian safety and save lives," Dear said. "I just want to also remind drivers to please pay attention to the speed limit when driving through residential and heavy population areas--it will save lives too."

DOT engineers will also look at the surface of the intersection. Many elderly residents said the road is slick, both when wet and dry, and could potentially cause a fall.

Floyd Smith, a Far Rockaway resident who has led the charge for immediate remedy to the intersection problem, said "I appreciate the support given by Commissioner Baier and Councilman Dear. I believe that with their support, this intersection will be made safer for this community."

Councilman Dear's office will keep residents updated as to when the changes will occur.

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