The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) recently installed stop signs and crosswalks to the intersection of Stanhope Street and Fairview Avenue in Ridgewood. The additions come after several members of the community voiced concerns about the safety of the intersection for the high volume of pedestrians in the area.
Councilman Robert Holden’s office worked closely with the Crosswalk Committee of Ridgewood to get the DOT to make these additions. Additionally, Holden’s office has written letters and contacted the DOT on numerous occasions in regards to this area.
“For years, Ridgewood residents have voiced their concerns about the intersection of Stanhope Street and Fairview Avenue,” Holden said. “I’m proud to have worked with the community to pressure the DOT to install a multi-way stop here. It will ensure that those who enjoy Grover Cleveland Playground and local high school students can safely cross the street.”
All this work ended up paying off in August, when the Department of Transportation announced the approval of a multi-way stop there. While the installation was delayed, they have since been added.
Last March, the Crosswalk Committee of Ridgewood organized a rally demanding the installation of pedestrian signals at the intersection of Stanhope Street and Fairview Avenue. Approximately 250 community members took part in that rally.
Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano commended the organizers of the rally for helping to spearhead this effort. He noted that it is often difficult for certain intersections to meet the necessary factors in order to get warrants for the addition of traffic signals or stop signs. Among these factors are determining how many vehicles regularly travel through the intersection, both from the main and secondary street, reviewing the history of accidents in the area and examining the amount of time pedestrians typically wait before they are able to cross the street.
“I give DOT credit for listening to the community and for understanding this was a very big pedestrian safety matter,” Giordano said.
The Crosswalk Committee had also set up a change.org petition calling for action on the matter. As of Dec. 2, the petition has a total of 627 signatures.
This intersection had long been viewed as dangerous for members of the community.
In 2019, a man died due to head trauma suffered when he was hit by a car as he attempted to cross the street to get to his home. He lived just a block away from where the accident had occurred.
According to Queens Community Board 5, foot traffic in the area has only increased since the nearby Grover Cleveland Park was rehabilitated. As with the Crosswalk Committee of Ridgewood, Community Board 5 had been requesting the implementation of stop signs and crosswalks at the intersection for a few years. The board views the crosswalk and stop sign installations as a very positive development for the community.