The intersection of Columbia and President Streets has been studied in the past by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for the installation of a traffic control device. A signal study tests a total of 14 warrants, in accordance with the Federal Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, to see whether the intersection would qualify for a signal. Such things as pedestrian volumes, vehicular volumes, vehicular movements, accident histories, etc. are all taken into consideration. Regardless of whether one person or one thousand people ask for a traffic signal, DOT will respond the same way by performing a study. And once a study has been performed, DOT will wait 18 months minimum before going out to study the same intersection again.
It is my understanding that my office, the offices of Assemblywoman Joan Millman, State Senator Daniel Squadron, and likely others, have all requested signal studies at this intersection and that DOT has found the installation of a traffic signal at this location to be unwarranted. I do not know the last time it was studied, but if it was within the past 18 months that would mean it is not eligible for study at this time.
Traffic signals, I should point out, are not the only way to control traffic and improve safety at intersections. There are other measures that can be taken, which DOT may want to explore further. Removal of parking spaces at corners, or "daylighting", for example, is another way that visibility at intersections can be improved for approaching traffic. It would seem that the most effective way to go about improving safety would be to get DOT out there to look at the intersection to see, from an engineering perspective, which measures in their tool-box they believe are most appropriate.
Please do feel free to stay in touch with our Assistant District Manager, Leroy Branch, at firstname.lastname@example.org who can be helpful in communicating and following up with DOT, if that is something the communtiy would like to pursue.
I hope this is helpful.
P.S. Accident reports are taken and kept on record at the local police precincts, in this case the 76th Precinct. And, for purposes of signal studies, only "preventable" (and reported!) accidents would count toward the total that DOT would be looking at, meaning that if a traffic signal would have helped prevent the accident then that accident would count. If a motorist got into an accident due to some mechanical failure, for example, that would not count toward the accident history used to justify the installation of a traffic signal. And unreported accidents wouldn't count at all.
Craig R. Hammerman
Brooklyn Community Board 6
Monday, October 19, 2009
Some information on traffic safety from CB6
In the process of sending out a number of emails regarding yesterday's accident, we received the following response from Craig Hammerman of Community Board 6. We'll continue to post more information as we receive it.