NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Residents in one part of the Rockaways say a major road is more like a raceway.

They have been asking for help and say it’s a matter of life and death.

As CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported, family and friends said final goodbyes Friday to 63-year-old Valerie Razack. Police said the Arverne resident was struck by a car in the crosswalk at Beach 73rd Street last Wednesday, and she had the walk signal.

“It’s so sudden,” said her aunt, Shirley Razack. “I do hope they do something so that somebody else won’t get killed over there.”

The dangerous intersection now has a flashing speed limit sign. It’s only a block from Beachfront Road, near a new development and a new road that was opened to traffic in the last few years.

“You will see crowds of people trying to navigate crossing this street,” Community Board 14 member Chris Tedesco told Rozner. “You won’t find a speed limit sign, you won’t find a speed hump, you won’t find a stop sign, you won’t find a traffic light.”

Residents say there’s no safe way to cross the street for 13 blocks from Beach 59th Street to Beach 73rd Street. Some have even taken it upon themselves to put a stop sign in, but it was taken down.

It’s a conundrum: The Department of Transportation can’t install a sign, Rozner reported. It doesn’t have jurisdiction of that particular stretch. A different city agency – Housing and Preservation Development – runs the road, but is not allowed to put up traffic signs.

“It’s a lot of commercial vehicles, private charter buses, I’ve even seen a 53-foot semi come through here,” said resident Charles Christie.

The DOT and HPD confirmed they are working on transferring the street to DOT.

“We followed up with them this week, and they said that they’re meeting next week with HPD to transfer over the property. And we’ll be calling next week to keep this moving forward, so that this community can feel safe,” said Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato.

The community hopes the city will install traffic signs, and not put them off with more studies.

The DOT said it’s looking into whether speed bumps could be installed on the road, but would not provide a timeline.


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