Staten Island neighbors question new traffic safety measures

Posted: 5:29 PM, Dec 14, 2017
Updated: 2017-12-14 17:29:50-05

STATEN ISLAND — Some neighbors believe a project designed to make their streets safer is actually having the opposite impact.

Cars coming down Greeley Avenue now navigate a series of roundabouts.

“This really wasn’t the way to go,” Denise Boland said.

Boland points out that people still speed around the roundabouts. She also said, and PIX 11 saw first hand, the circles make it harder for people to pull onto the road

“We need to inch out onto the avenue to see if traffic is coming,” Boland said. “And because of the circles, the traffic has to come around wider, so there’s really no room for us. I had almost two accidents last week.”

PIX11 monitored a speed radar set up along the road for about 10 minutes to assess the impact the roundabouts are having. About half the cars were near the 25 mph speed limit of the road, but none approached the 15 mph limit of the roundabouts. Many drove in the upper 30s.

The NYC DOT began looking at the project in 2016 when speeding led to four major crashes.

“The neighborhood traffic circles recently installed on Greeley Avenue were designed to slow vehicles speeds while maintaining traffic flow,” said a DOT spokesman. “In addition, they decrease opportunities for conflicts by enhancing visibility. The neighborhood traffic circles were supported by the local community board and civic association.”

The spokesman went on to say: “Markings along the corridor were completed December 8th; we are evaluating the signage needs along the corridor. As with any change to our streets, there is an initial period of adjustment for roadway users. We will continue to monitor how the safety improvements are functioning and make adjustments if necessary.”

Some neighbors do like the new roundabouts, saying they increase pedestrian safety.

“Honestly it just makes crossing the street easier,” said one man.

Others said they hope that at a minimum the city will improve the signage around the new neighborhood traffic circles, which are a first for the city according to the DOT.