Traffic island makes it hard for drivers to turn safely


Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz has requested that the Department of Transportation fix a newly installed island at the intersection of Sedgwick Avenue and Van Cortlandt Park West.

Motorists heading northbound on Sedgwick Avenue and making a left-hand turn onto Van Cortlandt Park West are affected by the newly installed island, which juts out too far for them to easily turn, according to a press release from the assemblyman’s office. 

“As it is currently designed, the situation creates obvious added risk for drivers as well as pedestrians, who may go overlooked as the driver focuses exclusively on making a successful turn,” according to Mr. Dinowiz, who noted that scuffing on the side of the island is proof of the difficulty drivers face. 

“While I am concerned with the issue created for drivers, I do not necessarily believe you need to remove the island entirely, but rather adjust the one corner to make those left handed turns easier. I hope the DOT will look into this as soon as possible, and I anxiously await their findings,” Mr. Dinowtiz said in the statement.


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While I am a vociferous critic of all local politicians and their minions, I commend the Assemblyman for noticing this and bringing it to the attention of the DOT. As a resident of VC Village, I was very aware as they were building this horrific "safety" island that it was going to do exactly the opposite of its intent, which is usually the way things go with government projects. As soon as it was completed, pedestrians stated to have to run out of the way of cars making the left turn and not realizing they were turning into oncoming traffic.

One thing not mentioned in the article is the fact that the traffic island also effectively turns two lanes coming down the hill into one and a half lanes, so cars get very close to eachother and are forced to dangerously cut eachother off, which will make it much less safe for pedestrians.

When I moved into the neighborhood in 2004, we did not have these traffic islands, or the newly installed red lights all over Goulden, Dickenson and VC South. ALL of these projects have made traffic worse, noise pollution worse with honking, and being a pedestrian more dangerous as now drivers speed up rapidly to avoid the long red lights and to make the short greens.

As the old adage goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Or is it that the DOT just needs to justify its bloated existance by undertaking these illogical and unsafe projects?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013