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.