Locals Say Emmons Ave, Bedford Ave Intersection Need Better Traffic Safety Controls


Following another car accident at the intersection of Emmons Avenue and Bedford Avenue, neighbors are renewing their calls for improved traffic safety measures before someone loses their life.

On Sunday, September 2, two cars collided as an eastbound vehicle traveling on Emmons Avenue sought to turn up Bedford Avenue, and a westbound car slammed into it. No one was seriously injured, but at least one group is saying it’s an ongoing problem.

“Vehicles driving east on Emmons that need to turn north onto Bedford will find it impossible to see cars traveling west on Emmons. Then, ‘WHAM….CRASH,'” said Sheepshead Bay / Plumb Beach Civic Association member Tom Paolillo, who told Sheepshead Bites about the accident and sent in the accompanying photo. “It is a regular occurrence.”

Paolillo said the corner needs a turn signal and a “No Parking Anytime” setback to prevent cars from parking at the end of the median so that oncoming cars can be seen during a turn.

The Sheepshead Bay / Plumb Beach Civic Association said they’ve been grousing about the problem for years to the city, but to no avail.

“They say there are not enough accidents and injuries on that corner,” said SBPB Civic President Kathy Flynn. “We have submitted it several times.”

The city publishes accident statistics by precinct on its website monthly, but only the prior month’s statistics are available. Currently, the website appears to be several months behind, but shows that there were two accidents at the intersection in June. These statistics only account for accidents in which a police report is made. If officers are not called to the scene, or show up after the parties have left, no report is filed.

Sheepshead Bites has reported on several accidents at the location, including a three-car accident that left one vehicle on the sidewalk, and another accident in which an SUV flipped over. In the former incident, our tipster, another neighbor not connected to the civic group, noted the same problem as Paolillo, saying:

Almost every week an accident happens on that corner because those who want to make a left turn onto Bedford Ave cannot see the oncoming traffic. The DOT either needs to install an additional left turn traffic light (like it did at Ocean and SB Rd) or put up a No Standing sign on W-bound Emmons Ave 25 ft before the corner.

Flynn said that the SBPB Civic Association will discuss the matter at tonight’s meeting, which takes place at 7:30 p.m. at The Waterford on the Bay (2900 Bragg Street).

  • Georgia

    Now here we need a counted down traffic light were it will tell you how many seconds to cross the street. Also I agree with a turn signal. Also when the cars can go to give them ample time. Maybe it will avoid spinning around that corner. Another on going situation.

  • Ron123

    About three weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon @ approximately 12:30 PM, I was stopped at the traffic light on Emmons Avenue & Bedford. I was traveling westbound. I drive an SUV. The light turned green but a person was running north across the street. Naturally I did not proceed; but another car traveling west from approximately a block away was already in motion when the light turned. The motorist missed the crossing pedestrian by a hair. If he hit him, it would have been fatal.

  • Arthur Borko

    I have another solution. Requiring the elderly to retake their driving and vision tests every year after Age 55, with an included reflex and response test.

    • Arnie K

      Do you really think people 55 years of age are elderly? You can’t collect full social security benefits until at least 65 and there is talk of raising the retirement age even further. I don’t think the real problem is 55 year old drivers. The problem is drivers, many of whom are under 55, who think that observing traffic regulations and driving defensively are optional.  

      • Arthur Borko

        I think that’s the bottom limit of the age where your reflexes and vision start to go. 
        The majority of people over that age are not exactly icons of health, at least not in this country. I’m not against taking away drivers licenses at 70 alltogether, but I think 55 is the age where yearly retesting should begin if these people want to keep putting everyone at risk.

        Please don’t blame the young. Unlike the old those with less Driving experience usually improve. You can’t fight the aging body however and no matter how careful some of these people are they are still prone to slow reaction time and getting startled and confused.

        If someone is being reckless and ignoring the law we already have a penalty system for that. It’s outright dangerous to leave these ticking time bombs on the road however.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

           Where do you get these ideas? My vision went bad in my late 30s. And there are number people considerably older than I am now that see better than either of us, and still have razor sharp reflexes. Not all young people do, you know.

        • Arnie K

          Your response uses the term “I think” three times. Your position is only an opinion and has no basis in fact. I am 63 years old and have an unblemished driving record of 45 years. I pose less of a threat to public safety than aggressive or reckless younger drivers. And by the way, my reflexes and vision are just fine.

          No one is suggeting that incompetent drivers should remain on the road forever. But by any standard, 55 is far too young to consider the typical driver physically compromised.  

      • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

        It’s raised already actually.  Anyone born 1960 or later must wait until age 67 to collect full benefits. Anyone born 1943 or later, must wait until 66.


    • nolastname

      I’ll be turning 57 this week and I take that as an insult. Go ahead Arthur snatch this stone from my hand. LOL
      Seriously, I would have said nothing if you pushed it another 10 or even 20 years.

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      I have an even better solution. All cab drivers need to be re-tested…

      Your comment has absolutely nothing to do with the danger of that intersection. Left turners need to have x-ray vision to see oncoming traffic. Ted Williams with his legendary vision could be an accident victim there. What the heck does age have to do with this particular question?

    • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

      Yearly testing, I disagree with. Yeah, people get old, but people also tend to be more careful when they’re older. I’d rather opt for mandatory testing every 3-4 years for everyone. I see more horrible drivers out there in their 20s and 30s, than I do seniors.

  • levp

    I’ve done a number of adrenalin-generating left turns on that intersection.  Left turn signal/turn bay would certainly help.

    • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

      I never use that intersection, except at night, when you can see the headlights illuminating the road, assuming the oncoming drivers have their headlights on…

  • BrooklynBus

    That setback is called “daylighting.”  I don’t know why it is taking DOT so long to do it.  They have done it on every block on Oriental Blvd and have it at some intersections where it is not needed.  There certainly have been enough accidents there for them to do it.  Left turn signals, I am not that sure if they are necessary.  Only if daylighting doesn’t solve the problem.

  • Reader

    Damn bikes!

  • Wing Man

    Late 80s or early 90s fatal accident at that intersection possibly more than 1 

  • guest

    The DOT is dragging it’s behind because this has nothing to do with bicycles. It’s too busy hitting people with sidewalk violations and painting bike lanes. When only motorist and pedestrians are involved it takes the DOT forever to do something smart. Put a bike lane along emmons avenue and watch how quick a left turn, no turn or no standing sign goes up.

  • Andreynyc

    My girl crashed on that same corner last year bringing down the traffic light and loosing ability to wal for 4 month…same scenario….something needs to be done over there!

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