A dicey intersection near a Whitestone elementary school just got a little safer.
The city installed a four-way stop on 154th Street at the intersection of 11th Avenue after residents petitioned for more controls. The accident-prone school crossing is half a block away from P.S. 193.
“This has been a problem location going back to my days in the City Council, and the community has been very vocal on the need for additional traffic controls at this location for years,” said State Senator Tony Avella.
“Ensuring the safety of our children as they go to school should be one of our top traffic priorities.”
Before the change, there were only two stop signs for vehicles going east and westbound. Residents said cars constantly parked illegally in a “No Standing” zone impaired the vision of drivers trying to go straight on 11th Avenue or make a right turn, The Courier reported last September.
Having to slowly inch up halfway into the intersection, they said, makes them sitting ducks for speeding cars zooming down 154th Street.
There were no reported injuries at the location between 2006 and 2010, said a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT). There was only one crash in 1996, which resulted in one injury, according to crashstat.org.
But Devon O’Connor, president of the Welcome to Whitestone Civic Association, said he witnessed at least four collisions there last summer. The intersection, he said, has been a problem for over a decade.
Support for the traffic controls came from the school, parents, elected officials and Community Board 7, O’Connor said.
“It’s definitely going to reduce speeding and car crashes,” he said. “I stood there for a while watching [the intersection with the new stop signs]. You can definitely tell it’s a whole different vibe.”