City Councilman Joins Fight To End Dangers On Troublesome 47th Avenue

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There were calls for help Friday in Queens as residents asked the city to help put the brakes on speeding cars on a busy stretch in Woodside.

As CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes reported, they brought a symbolic sign to try to prove their point.

Teacher Elizabeth O’Hara said she worries every day for her little students walking to and from school at Towers Play and Learn in Woodside.

The reason, she said, is because of drivers on 47th Avenue, which runs right in front of the building.

“It’s really dangerous. It’s hard,” O’Hara said. “They come really close to the children. It takes them a long time to stop. We put our hands up and they’re still speeding up.”

Locals said cars race down the two-lane street, putting pedestrians – many of them children and senior citizens – at risk.

“This is a heavily crossed street. We need protection,” neighbor Jerry Lomonte said.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer rallied with young students and residents Friday morning. They said they’ve been asking the city Department of Transportation to do something to slow down traffic on the avenue between 59th and 61st streets for years.

“We know it’s dangerous. They know it’s dangerous and they will not take action,” Van Bramer said.

People said Queens Boulevard nearby is a big part of the problem. They said drivers, especially during rush hour, try to avoid that traffic by using 47th Avenue as a shortcut.

As a symbolic gesture, the councilman and kids very briefly set up a homemade “stop” sign to demonstrate how easy it would be to install one for real.

“We’ve asked for any measures, whether it be pedestrian crossings, signs posted,” resident John McMorrow said.

Residents told CBS 2’s Grymes two children have been hit by cars on this stretch over the last five years, but they said they should not have to wait until someone is killed for the city to take action.

CBS 2 reached out to the DOT and it said during a review last year, the area did not meet federal guidelines for additional stop signs.

However, it plans to look again to see if there is anything it can do to make the area safer.

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