2016-03-02 / Features

Van Bramer Helps Install ‘People’s Stop Sign’


Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and several students of PS/IS 78 stand at 5th Street and 46th Avenue in Hunters Point, displaying a “people’s stop sign” to protest the Department of Transportation’s unwillingness to put a real one at the crossing. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and several students of PS/IS 78 stand at 5th Street and 46th Avenue in Hunters Point, displaying a “people’s stop sign” to protest the Department of Transportation’s unwillingness to put a real one at the crossing. The cold rain and wind couldn’t stop several parents and their children from gathering with Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer on February 26 at 5th Street and 46th Avenue in Hunters Point, across from PS/IS 78, to protest both the lack of a stop signs at the corner and the city Department of Transportation’s (DOT) continued refusal to install one

“This corner demands a stop sign,” Van Bramer said. “We can’t wait for a tragedy, we have to prevent a tragedy.” He said that for four years DOT has refused repeated requests for a sign while the volume of cars and bicycles has increased in this growing Long Island City neighborhood. He decided the time had come for a demonstration and another display of a “people’s stop sign.”

The councilman has done that two other times, at a corner in Woodside near the Big Six housing complex and on this same 5th Street, at 48th Avenue. After those protests, stop signs were eventually installed, probably because DOT can’t bear the embarrassment, according to Van Bramer.

Jen Theien, President of Gantry Parents Association, said there are toddlers and older children constantly in the area, often crossing the streets because of the school and the nearby New York Kids Club. While speaking, she waved at a crossing guard named Kaneesha and said she keeps kids safe while she’s at work but a stop sign would also help. She concluded “we should take care of the situation now, before something really bad happens.”—Tom Cogan

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