The Public Services Committee [of COWNA] wrote a letter to the DOT, CB6 and the 76th Precinct in late June in which we proposed a traffic light or at least a stop sign at Columbia and President. The DOT did not reply in any form to this letter, but the 76th Precinct wrote back on July 1, claiming that they forwarded the letter to DOT. Leroy Branch of CB6 also called back and claimed that they would mail our letter to DOT. There has been no further signs of activity from the DOT despite a reminder being sent in September. The 76th Precinct also stated that a DOT study indicated that there was no need for a traffic light at Columbia and President.
COWNA has also demanded a copy of the DOT traffic study of Columbia Street, since we frankly assume that their data is dated and not relevant to the way traffic developed over the course of the last two or so years. We wanted to read the traffic study both from the viewpoint of traffic density and emissions, since we still would like to establish a baseline level of traffic and emission levels before new businesses, most notably Phoenix and any traffic related to new construction in Red Hook, may have an effect on overall traffic. The DOT replied to the request for the study on August 20. They claimed that they sent our request for the Columbia Street Traffic Study to the Department of Design and Construction. As of last week, we had not received a copy of the study.
Obviously the DOT has not been very responsive up to this point, and now someone else is hurt because of it. Will this finally compel them to do an updated study? If not a traffic light or stop sign, can we at least get additional speed limit signs, children crossing signs, removal of parking spaces from near the corners, neckdowns, or anything else to help the situation?
If people are looking to do something more about this issue right away, we can start by making some phone calls to the DOT's complaint line at : 718-225-5368 (CALL DOT) OR Dial 3-1-1 (these are the numbers suggested on Transportation Alternatives)