12 May 2009

Accident at Stoplight-less Intersection of President and Columbia

The arrival of Fairway and IKEA in Red Hook has given the surrounding neighborhood a lot of things. Easy access to gourmet food and cheap furniture, for one. And increased reckless traffic down Columbia and Van Brunt Streets for another.

At around noon May 12 there was an accident at the intersection of Columbia and President Streets. A van and a motorcycle collided. The man on the motorcycle was thrown off his bike and broke his leg.

This has long been a dangerous intersection. There are stop lights at nearby Union and Degraw streets, but none at President. One needs to be installed there for one gigantic reason. There is a vest-pocket playground called Mother Cabrini Park on President Street between Columbia and Van Brunt. The neighborhood is full of young children, and parents and their kids are constantly crossing Columbia Street at President in order to go the park. The lack of a stop light continually endangers these children.

I have talked to mothers and nannies who told about having to wait 20 minutes to cross Columbia due to the ongoing traffic. (There are also no stop lights at Carroll and Summit streets to the south, giving cars and trucks plenty of room to speed up.) Everyone at the accident—from shopkeepers to local to nannies to parents—talked about how dangerous the crossing was and about the desperate need for a stop light. The keeper of the corner store said this is the second accident he has witnessed in recent months.

Time to get that petition going.


Andrea said...

There's a 4-way stop at Columbia and Carroll (I think it's Carroll -- whatever is the eastbound street I have to take driving back from Red Hook), so that should stop the traffic from going so fast. Scary to hear about this accident.

TUWD said...

part of the problem (i think) is also that you can't take van brunt past hamilton- they've re-routed it via summit st to columbia. this puts a lot of red hook>carroll gdns/slope traffic on columbia rather than the more direct van brunt>union route.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

If I'm remembering right, the 4-way stop is at Summit, not Carroll. Anyway, cars don't respect the stop signs the way they do the lights.

Anonymous said...

I also think the because the B61 bus has 4 blocks between stops here, they're the worst on Columbia when they speed up. I completely agree there at least needs to be a stop sign put in here.

madlydeeplytruly said...

Another huge contributor to the danger of this intersection is the habitual illegal parking on its corners. During the day, more often than not, vehicles are parked blocking the NE curb cut in front of the bodega AND in the fire zone in front of the grocery. Often large trucks. This creates an enormous blind stop for anyone travelling on President Street. Perhaps scofflaws could be discouraged by actual enforcement of these parking codes.

Ajlouny said...

Maybe, since there is a trend of ongoing accident, there should be some serious measures to add speed bumps on the roads. That will definitely slow things down.