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Photo courtesy of Office of Queens Borough President Melinda Katz
Photo courtesy of Office of Queens Borough President Melinda Katz
Rosedale residents welcomed new pedestrian safety measures in Brookville Park.

BY ANGELA MATUA

After years of requesting changes with the Department of Transportation (DOT), Rosedale Little League welcomed last week new traffic safety devices installed on 147th Avenue between their game fields in Brookville Park.

Borough President Melinda Katz, the Department of Transportation and families gathered as a pedestrian crossing signal, crosswalk and lane markings were unveiled in Rosedale on Wednesday, May 13.

“There was a clear need to take action for the kids, seniors and families of Rosedale here in Brookville Park,” Katz said. “This is an example of what results when a community continues to press and doesn’t give up, and when government works together.”

The DOT previously denied in 2010 requests to install these safety measures, but the Rosedale Little League, community leaders and families persisted in pressing the agency for improvements.

The heavily trafficked area is prone to vehicles traveling above the speed limit. Cars travel more than 1,500 feet on Brookville Boulevard before encountering a traffic signal at 230th Place.

The new signal will repeatedly flash yellow until a button is pressed by a pedestrian seeking to cross the street. The signal will turn red to stop cars and allow pedestrians to cross.

The area was the scene of an April 2013 accident in which Alec McFarlane, a then-7-year-old Rosedale Little League player, was struck by a car. McFarlane survived but needed four staples in his head; he has recovered and continues to play for Rosedale Little League.

The accident spurred families and community leaders to reach out to the DOT again and the agency has also completed multiple studies on Brookville Boulevard which is located on the east side of Brookville Park between 142nd and 147th avenues.

These studies have led to the approval of new crossing signals on Brookville Boulevard at 143rd, 144th and Newhall Avenue, which are expected to be installed by the end of June.

Rosedale Little League President Bernie Brown said the community began calling the DOT to request safety measures 10 years ago. The agency repeatedly denied their requests, and Brown said this was because they conducted traffic studies during the off-season and did not experience the constant traffic and dangerous conditions that the community witnessed.

“I’m excited, but it’s also a process because people are still running the red light because either they’re not used to it or they don’t care,” Brown said. “It’s the right thing for us to have there and it’s not a DOT issue at this point. It’s a human being issue. They have to take the time to slow down and say, ‘I have to stop. Five minutes for me to get home is not worth it to take somebody’s life.’”

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