By Sadef Ali Kully
New road safety measures are being implemented on 147th Avenue between two segments of Brookville Park’s game fields and at other intersections in the vicinity, the borough president’s office announced last week.
In the first week of May, the city Department of Transportation installed new pedestrian crossing-signal, crosswalk and lane markings on 147th Avenue between the game fields used by the Rosedale Little League on both the north and south sides of the road. The straight stretch of the avenue is often the site of vehicles traveling above the speed limit, especially with over 1,500 feet between the traffic signal at Brookville Boulevard and the one at 230th Place.
“There was a clear need to take action for the kids, seniors and families of Rosedale here in Brookville Park,” Borough President Melinda Katz said. She was joined at the event by elected officials, 105th Precinct Capt. Neteis Gilbert, parents and players from the Rosedale Little League, elected officials, and representatives from the Rosedale Civic Association, the DOTand Community Board 13.
For years, parents, elected officials and community members had made several requests for safety measures on 147th Avenue. Those requests had been continuously denied by DOT since 2010.
“The new safety treatments are a winning result from the city’s Vision Zero playbook, where DOT is committed to collaborating more closely with local stakeholders to redesign neighborhood streets so they are safer for residents of all ages,” DOT Queens Commissioner Nicole Garcia said.
In addition to the new pedestrian crossing signal and lane markings on 147th Avenue, DOT also completed multiple studies this year on Brookville Boulevard, which fronts the east side of Brookville Park between 142nd and 147th Avenues. As a result, three new signals have been approved on Brookville Boulevard at 143rd, 144th and Newhall Avenues, and are expected to be installed by the end of June.
The push for new safety measures came after Rosedale Little League player Alec McFarlane, 7, was struck and injured by a speeding vehicle in 2013. McFarlane did not sustain serious injuries, but his mother, Janet Grant, approached Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) to help implement new safety measures. McFarlane is still a player with the Rosedale Little League.
“After 7-year-old Alec McFarlane was struck by a car between the baseball fields, my office immediately reached out to the community,” said Richards. “This year, as I helped open Rosedale Little League’s 2015 season, I was able to share with pride that the community’s hard work had come to fruition – our youth and seniors would no longer have to fear for their safety as they cross the street.”
The new signal will flash yellow continuously until a button is pressed by a pedestrian seeking to cross the street, at which time the signal will turn red to allow the pedestrians to cross over.
“Children of all ages, parents and grandparents cross this busy street, and when the traffic is backed up at Sunrise Highway, we get double the traffic on Brookville Boulevard,” Rosedale Little League President Bernie Brown said. “This is an example to everyone that if you stand together progress will happen.”