2012-08-31 / Letters

Open Letter To Assemblyman Goldfeder

Dear Editor,

This letter is being written at the request of the Rockaway Civic Association Board of Directors.

While this proposed traffic light in your district might be a good idea when students and teachers are commuting to and from school, if not properly controlled it can be more trouble than it’s worth when school is not in session. Traffic lights have long had the ability to be activated only when needed. This feature is especially important for traffic signals around schools that are only needed for a few hours on school days which comprise less than half the year.

Intelligent traffic signals are designed so that traffic can proceed unimpeded unless there is a reason to stop. The proposed light, if installed, should remain green (or perhaps flashing yellow during school hours) to Rockaway Freeway traffic unless there are cars or pedestrians at the Beach 105 Street intersection waiting to cross. Otherwise, requiring cars to stop at red lights with no cross traffic has been shown to cause more accidents than they prevent.

Traffic lights that use old school 24/7 timers are a waste of a driver’s time, precious fuel and, ironically, contribute to pollution around the very students whose safety we are trying to protect. It is essential that this proposed traffic signal as well as existing traffic lights at Beach 104 Street and Beach 101 Street on Beach Channel Drive, incorporate this technology. It’s just dumb to force hundreds of cars every day to come to a stop, idle and then accelerate away when school is not in session.

Incorporating this safe and proven “smart traffic light” technology is win for all of your constituents, students as well as motorists. Please let us know if this capability can be incorporated in the newly proposed traffic light as well as the existing aforementioned locations. We would also hope to see this system used at other appropriate intersections throughout the peninsula.

Thank you in advance for your response.

RICK HORAN

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