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Crosby, Roberts traffic control gets green light

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Councilman Jimmy Vacca has stepped in to remedy a situation that has lingered on Crosby Avenue for much of his career as district manager and now in the city council.

After certain members of the Pelham Bay Taxpayers and Community Association presented Vacca with a petition containing 40 pages of signatures, he sprang into action to use his clout to get a traffic light installed at a busy intersection that is used by schoolchildren every day: Crosby and Roberts avenues.

The intersection, which is part of a joint city and state Department of Transportation traffic study of Pelham Bay streets that is currently underway, has had issues with safety not just for motorists who want to get across the busy Crosby Avenue, but more importantly for schoolchildren from P.S. 71 and Our Lady of Assumption School who cross the street every day.

“We had asked that a traffic light be installed at that intersection in 2001-02, when I was district manager,” said Vacca. “This is really good news for the residents of the Pelham Bay community. I think the numbers [in the traffic study] were on our side.”

Vacca said that he had written a letter in May requesting that the DOT do a survey of the area that was inclusive of the school-year, when children cross the busy street on their way to and from school.

The study of the intersection took place while school was in session, so that the implications of not having a traffic light as children crossed could be taken into consideration.

Vacca said that the DOT’s Bronx office confirmed their plans for installation of a traffic light, but it is not clear as of press time of the exact date of installation.

Many in the community were fearful that with accidents and close calls taking place daily at the location, a moving car could seriously injure a child.

“There is absolutely no safe place to cross Roberts and Crosby avenues,” said Frank Tranchese, a board member of the PBTCA. “Even the crossing guard for P.S. 71 had a close call.”

Tranchese said that he presented Vacca with the petition recently.

When the light at Roberts and Crosby avenues is installed, Crosby will have a traffic light at every intersection from Westchester Avenue to Middletown Road, the commercial hub of the Pelham Bay area.

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