Pheffer Amato to DOT: Seagirt Needs Traffic Calming

After three bad accidents, two fatal, time for study “long past”

In the wake of the third car to hit a pedestrian in one year on a particular stretch of road in Far Rockaway, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Far Rockaway) today called for the City’s Department of Transportation to immediately implement traffic calming measures, including clear crosswalk painting, proper signage and “Your Speed” radar signs, to ensure the road is made safe for pedestrians.

“Late Thursday night, we lost a local jogger – only 36 years old – when a driver hit him while he was in a crosswalk,” said Pheffer Amato. “Just over a year ago, we lost another life on that same stretch of road; and in early June, there was a serious accident where a pedestrian was hit, again on that same stretch. All of these incidents happened between Beach 19th and Beach 32nd on Seagirt Boulevard. All of them were preventable. All of them took place within several blocks of a school and/or a hospital. The time for study is long past; or if the DOT needs to do studies, they need to be expedited. We need calming measures at the intersection, or the risk of another tragedy is just too high.

“Seagirt Boulevard is prone to speeding,” said Pheffer Amato. “I’ve written a letter asking DOT to implement appropriate calming measures. But Seagirt isn’t enough by itself. All across my district, tens of thousands of K-12 students, often with parents in tow, will be headed back to school. Will they be safe getting there? The DOT needs to make sure that roads are repainted, especially crosswalks, and that signage is adequate. They should take this time to get their house in order. There’s nothing more important for them to do than to safeguard pedestrians’ lives.”

“We’ve been asking DOT since we moved here in 2006 to get on this,” said Ed Williams, a member of Community Board 14. “They always say a study has to be done, and then very little happens. Where the jogger was killed, they put in a temporary radar Your Speed camera, but we need them to be permanent. We’ve asked for speed cameras and for better enforcement. There’s a large elderly population right around our area, and I’m afraid it might be an elderly person or a child being hit next. I applaud Stacey for leaning on the DOT to do the right thing. Time is of the essence.”