2005-11-25 / Editorial/Opinion

No Matter What Feds Say, Traffic Lights Are Needed

The city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) has been studying traffic patters on Shore Front Parkway for nearly two months now. The study, which was touched off by the tragic death of 14-year-old Andre Anderson, who was hit by an SUV on September 25 while he was riding his bike on SFP and Beach 84 Street. According to police, the driver, a 23-year-old Rockaway man, tried to pass the youth on the right and Anderson cut over right into the path of his automobile. There were no arrests or summonses issued. That was not the first fatal accident on that road this year. Earlier in the year a local man was killed in a drag-racing incident that involved four cars. In that same accident, another local man, pulling out from a housing complex driveway right into the path of the accident barely escaped serious injury or death. After Anderson’s death, local residents and politicians quickly called for at least three traffic lights on the stretch between Beach 73 Street and Beach 90 Street, almost a mile in length. Under pressure from City Councilman Joseph Addabbo, the DOT started the traffic study. While the study was slated to end in October, it continues today because of faulty equipment and planning on the agency’s part. Now, the agency says that it is not sure whether traffic lights are needed because very strict Federal regulations regarding traffic flow and road history control the process of placing new traffic lights. That sounds to us like a cop-out that involves the question of funding the new lights more than the question of how safe the road might be. In fact, we have driven that road extensively over the past ten years and believe that traffic control signals are needed at a number of other places along the road, most notably the entrances to the Dayton Towers and Dayton Beach buildings. We hope the DOT makes its decision quickly, before others are killed along that stretch of road. And, we hope the decision that agency makes is the right one for Rockaway citizens.

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