City Claims There Haven't Been Enough Accidents To Warrant Action

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — There was a demand Friday from angry residents in Park Slope. They want Mayor Michael Bloomberg to stop focusing on bike lanes and do something about a dangerous intersection.

A horrific crash happened on Wednesday; another happened on Thursday. A white van carrying young girls — 8 to 10 years old — headed to day camp was hit broadside by a tractor trailer. Bloodied kids were seen rushing from the van after the crash.

“They were cut, bruised, one girl was bleeding profusely from the head. Her head was all cut open. They were scared, shaken. They had glass in their hair, glass in their eyes,” Park Slope businessman Eric Nocera told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer on Friday.

Nocera owns a body shop on the corner of 17th Street and Third Avenue in Park Slope. It’s a dangerous, heavily trafficked corner. For years accidents have been the norm. He and his neighbors are frustrated at trying — without success — to get the city Department of Transportation to fix it.

“I’m very angry. I’m livid. How is that possible for so many years to let go? It shouldn’t be. It’s just wrong, so wrong, and nobody seems to care enough to do something about it,” said Donna Maxil, president of the 72nd Precinct Council and Park Slope resident.

“Something bad’s going to happen. Someone’s going to die,” Nocera added.

“You have a lot of kids here, a lot of traffic and nobody wants to do anything about it,” resident Yehya Alsahqani said.

All  the residents want is a turn signal so when drivers make the turn they don’t have to do it into oncoming traffic, but they said when they call the DOT they’re told there aren’t enough accidents to justify the move.

Kramer: “So when the city says there aren’t enough accidents to justify a turn signal what’s your reaction?”

Nocera: “My reaction is I have them on video and I have the proof to show there’s plenty of accidents and they’re serious accidents. Someone’s going to die. Instead of worrying about putting bike lanes throughout the city, let’s worry about making our intersections safe for the people.”

Just for the record, Nocera does have the video. His security camera has caught dozens of accidents, Kramer reported.

The DOT said it will review the intersection and any requests it gets from the community. Officials did recently re-do the intersection. A turn sign was not installed, but trees that make it harder to see oncoming traffic were put in place.

The department now claims there are plans for a left-hand turn signal.

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