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BY SAM SPOKONY | Citing numerous accidents and injuries to both pedestrians and bicyclists, Community Board 3 and local elected officials are calling on the city’s Department of Transportation to consider installing safety-improvement measures at the intersection of Delancey and Pitt Sts.
The awkwardly shaped intersection, which crosses under the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge, was the site of 20 car crashes between August 2011 and August 2013, according to Police Department data assembled by the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.
Four pedestrians and three cyclists were injured in these accidents, according to the data.
A C.B. 3 resolution passed at the end of December asked D.O.T. to conduct a traffic study, to evaluate whether conditions at the intersection warrant the installation of new traffic signals, right turn-only lanes, additional lighting under the bridge or a pedestrian island within the crossing area.
A month later, the coalition of elected officials — comprised of state Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Borough President Gale Brewer, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and Councilmembers Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez — followed with a Jan. 28 letter to new D.O.T. Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, stating the same request.
This call on D.O.T. comes about a year and half after the agency last partnered with C.B. 3 and the elected officials, among other local stakeholders, to make similar safety improvements slightly farther west on Delancey St., along the corridor leading to the bridge’s entrance/exit.
“Delancey St. has been the scene of far too many tragedies, and [that previous] working group resulted in commonsense improvements — from shorter crossings to improved traffic flow,” the politicians’ Jan. 28 letter stated. “At Delancey and Pitt Streets, we have the opportunity to prevent future tragedies and ensure better safety measures for our constituents.”
Responding to the letter, a D.O.T. spokesperson said on Jan. 31 that the agency “looks forward to discussing potential safety enhancements” at that intersection, and is reviewing the request for a traffic study.