Councilman Deutsch Calls For Traffic Light On Oriental Boulevard, Ocean Avenue

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Oriental Boulevard near Falmouth Street, the scene of an accident that left a 4-year-old dead in 2010. (Source: Reader submission)

The following is a press release from the offices Councilman Chaim Deutsch:

New York City Council Member Chaim Deutsch (D-Brooklyn), at a joint hearing of the Transportation and Public Safety committees of the New York City Council, called upon Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg to install a traffic light at Oriental Boulevard and Ocean Avenue, a busy intersection adjacent to a playground, where fatal automobile accidents have occurred. As a result, Manhattan Beach residents have identified this intersection as requiring a more comprehensive traffic-control device than the current yellow-blinking signal.

(Previously on Sheepshead Bites:

“The people of Manhattan Beach have long recognized the need for traffic-calming initiatives, including a traffic light, at Oriental Boulevard and Ocean Avenue, where recent traffic accidents on this busy thoroughfare have claimed two lives,” Councilman Deutsch stated. “Drivers have repeatedly complained that the flashing-yellow signal at Oriental Boulevard and Ocean Avenue is more confusing than helpful. As such, the existing blinking signal merely exacerbates an already hazardous environment for motorists and pedestrians alike.”

“Due to its close proximity to Kingsborough Community College, Leon Goldstein High School, MJHS Menorah Home & Hospital, Manhattan Beach Park, and private homes, it is imperative that the city take the necessary steps to heighten traffic safety along Oriental Boulevard.” said Council Member Deutsch. “Further tragic reminders are not necessary to emphasize the need for safety initiatives along Oriental Boulevard, and a traffic signal at Oriental Boulevard and Ocean Avenue would be a good place to start.”

Council Member Deutsch supports many of the initiatives proposed in the Vision Zero plan by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has pledged to take decisive and sustained action to reduce street fatalities and injuries. In the past year, 291 New Yorkers have been killed in car crashes, and 15,465 pedestrians and bicyclists were injured in collisions with automobiles. Unfortunately, some of these collisions, and even some deaths have occurred in recent years near Oriental Boulevard and Ocean Avenue. In 2010, a four-year-old boy was struck and killed by a city bus, and, in 2008, a Kingsborough Community College student was killed riding his motorcycle. Both accidents occurred on Oriental Boulevard.

During a Joint Transportation and Public Safety City Council Committee hearing with DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg on February 24, Council Member Deutsch reminded the city agency of Oriental Boulevard’s infamous traffic safety history, and the obligation it had to replace the flashing-yellow light at Oriental Boulevard and Ocean Avenue with a traffic signal. At the hearing, Commissioner Trottenberg agreed that the flashing-yellow light might cause confusion.

“I look forward to working with Commissioner Trottenberg, and the Department of Transportation to ensure that the goal of Vision Zero, to eliminate traffic deaths and increase safety in New York City, quickly becomes a reality,” said Council Member Chaim Deutsch. “With that in mind, I implore the DOT to heed the call of the residents of Manhattan Beach to install a traffic signal at Oriental Boulevard and Ocean Avenue, and implement other traffic safety initiatives along Oriental Boulevard to insure that no other residents suffer the same heartbreaking fate as the young lives already lost.”

  • BrooklynBus

    I have no problem with a traffic signal as long as it is coupled with a sensor for traffic along Ocean Avenue. To have cars stop and cause traffic congestion for no reason at all causing needless pollution, adding time to people’s trips, and causing a major inconvenience to residents of Ocean Avenue who will have to stop and wait two thirds of the time when they leave their home for no reason at all most of the day and night when there is little or no traffic on Oriental Boulevard makes no sense at all.

    When someone pushes the button to cross the street at 3PM, traffic backs up all the way to Amherst Street in one direction and to Kensington Street in the other. This would happen every few minutes with a signal instead of when someone needs to cross the street. There is also no proof that a signal will reduce accidents. It might even increase accidents as cars will speed to get though the yellow signal. We never found out what caused te bus accident, if the driver was speeding or not, and the motorcycle was clearly at fault in that accident. More traffic signals are not the solution to prevent all accidents.

    I am disappointed in Councilman Deutsch not requesting a sensor to go along with any proposed traffic signal.

  • Lana1

    BrooklynBus. He says that a more comprehensive traffic control device is needed there. It looks like we finally have an elected official who knows what he’s talking about and cares.

  • guest

    Everyone thinks that precious traffic lights are going to help bring about safety. It is sad that nobody realizes anyone that wants to speed is going to continue to do so regardless of any traffic calming measures. The only people that suffer are the law abiding citizens who choose to drive.

  • MBer

    Ah yes, the answer to every traffic issue, another traffic light. Pretty soon we’ll have one at every intersection, everywhere. Does the good Council Member ever drive in this borough? Does he realize how long it now takes to get from A to B, even when B is not that far away?

  • CC DeVille

    Really a 4 way stop sign would be the best of both worlds. The flashing yellow light provides nothing but confusion on the Oriental Blvd side.

    • BrooklynBus

      I agree. Other cities use them all over instead of signals. I don’t understand why we don’t have more of them where traffic is not that heavy most of the day like this intersection.