April 19, 2019 By Thomas Laforgia
Long-awaited traffic safety measures are headed to intersections near a handful of Flushing schools.
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic announced this week that the Department of Transportation is set to install warning lights at several nearby crosswalks, a move praised by educators and activists alike.
The devices will allow pedestrians to activate a cluster of flashing lights at the push of a button, alerting motorists to their presence.
“The installation of the flashing Beacon Light is a great step in the right direction,” said Anthony Cromer, principal of the East-West School of International Studies, which shares its Flushing campus with I.S.237. The two schools serve more than 2,000 students combined, according to Department of Education data.
Also praising the announcement was the advocacy group Families for Safe Streets, whose co-founder, Amy Tam, lost her 3-year-old daughter in 2015 to a negligent driver at the intersection of Cherry Ave. and Main St.
“It’s encouraging to see DOT is adding more safety measures in this area,” said Tam. “We hope DOT continues to prioritize pedestrians and cyclists over cars when evaluating streets because they are our most vulnerable road users.”
Rozic’s initiative comes amid a statewide swell of support for traffic safety devices.
Tam was arrested last June at a protest outside Gov. Cuomo’s Manhattan office after Albany failed to renew funding for school-zone speed cameras. Weeks later, Cuomo issued an executive order to reinstate the popular program within the five boroughs.
Buoyed by a state legislature now controlled by Democrats, a bill to expand the city’s speed-cam program sailed through the Assembly in March, increasing coverage to a total of 750 school zones.