Hazardous Whitestone intersection to be studied for safety improvements: DOT

Photos by Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has agreed to take another look at a Whitestone intersection that some residents say poses a danger to the community.

A driver —  who wished to remain anonymous —  involved in an accident at 162nd Street and 12th Road earlier this month told QNS that the collision totaled her vehicle. Poor visibility at the intersection, she said, was a major factor.

Grit Kuhnen, owner of Kragen’s Haircutters on 154th Street, said that she drives through the intersection a couple of times a week. The intersection has been the site of more than a few car accidents over the years, she said.

“It’s just, for some reason, very hidden there, and I feel like I have to be halfway down the street to see if a car is coming,” Kuhnen said of visibility when trying to drive across 12th Road.

Whitestone intersection (2)

About two weeks ago, the business owner continued, a driver trying to avoid a collision with another vehicle at the intersection wound up on a homeowner’s lawn.

Lily Sung, who lives in nearby Le Havre co-op complex, said she and fellow residents are aware of the unsafe conditions at the intersection, as well as at 12th Avenue and 162nd Street.

“It had become dangerously unsafe to cross the streets, especially [as] we do have a larger population of seniors living here,” Sung told QNS.

However, Sung believes the all-way stop won’t deter certain drivers from speeding past the sign, as she has witnessed many drivers continue straight through others installed in the neighborhood. Instead, DOT should consider other safety measures, like speed bumps and “No Parking” rules at the corners for visibility, she proposed.

A spokesperson for DOT told QNS on Tuesday that the city agency studied 162nd Street and 12th Road for an all-way stop in March 2011 and “determined that it was not feasible.” However, the spokesperson continued, DOT will reopen the study this week.

Kuhnen said she was happy to see DOT personnel on-site just this morning.

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