Though it has been characterized as dangerous, confusing, and high-risk, this Lindenwood intersection has seen just three accidents in the past 15 months, according to the NYPD.
By Michael V. Cusenza
The recent increased police presence at an infamous Lindenwood intersection is being credited with a positive change in driving habits in the area.
Residents have been calling attention to 153rd Avenue and 88th Street for years for being confusing for motorists and perilous for pedestrians, including at the January meeting of the Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic.
“There’s a yield sign, but no one yields to it – they knock it down,” Ellen Buonpastore said at the confab as she implored the NYPD to ramp up enforcement in the area.
Captain Michael Edmonds, executive officer of the 106th Precinct, was at that meeting and told The Forum on Tuesday, “If it’s important to [the community], it’s important to us. We need to maintain a presence there.”
And the precinct has. Shortly after the meeting, Capt. Brian Bohannon, the precinct commander, ordered a stop-sign enforcement at the intersection. Cops from the 106th Precinct descended on the notorious traffic triangle to make sure drivers were following the rules of the road.
“I can tell you I’ve seen them, and I know the presence is working,” civic President Joann Ariola told The Forum on Wednesday. “This is a very good safety measure.” Ariola credited Bohannon and Edmonds “for really getting in front of this issue.”
The configuration of the triangle has long caused confusion among drivers and is a frequent issue for residents. In winter, the unusual positions of the crosswalks at the intersection prevent City Sanitation Department plows from properly clearing paths for pedestrians.
Edmonds noted, however, that there have been only three accidents at the triangle in the past 15 months, compared to other precinct intersections, such as North Conduit Avenue and Cohancy Street, which sees 60 accidents per year. But near-misses, of course, are not recorded.
“It’s a tough intersection to manage if you’re not familiar with the area,” Edmonds added.
The executive officer said that precinct administration sends a sector car and any available Auxiliary support to the area every morning between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., which seems to be the time period during which pedestrians are most vulnerable. Personnel might not write tons of tickets, Edmonds said, but a marked NYPD vehicle stationed at the intersection can make a huge difference.
“People need to know that the Civic and police are aware of [the problems],” Ariola said. “Because children are crossing for school and seniors are going to stores – and you have cars and trucks just barreling through with no regard.”
Additionally, the City Department of Transportation is currently analyzing the area for possible enhanced safety measures.