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Stop sign saga drags on

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The battle for stop signs on St. Theresa Avenue may never end. The Department of Transportation has launched another traffic study at St. Theresa and Edison avenues, at the behest of Councilman James Vacca. Meanwhile, Senator Jeff Klein has asked DOT to consider speed humps and/or a yellow light at St. Theresa and Pilgrim avenues, where DOT has denied two stop sign requests before.

Frank Tranchese of the Pelham Bay Taxpayers Association won’t surrender; motorists regularly speed down St. Theresa Avenue from Westchester Avenue, no matter what DOT traffic assessors have found, Tranchese said.

In addition to St. Theresa Parish and St. Theresa School, St. Theresa Avenue is also home to a Bronx Organization for the Learning Disabled preschool. The street has no stop signs and is dangerous, particularly before and after school, and on Sundays, Tranchese said. DOT denied a request for speed humps on St. Theresa Avenue years ago.

DOT assessed the intersection of St. Theresa and Pilgrim avenues in 2008. Only 591 vehicles crossed Pilgrim on St. Theresa, not close to the 1,000 required for a stop sign.

Klein and Tranchese asked DOT to assess the intersection again; a 2009 study during peak hours yielded similar results, DOT spokesman Montgomery Dean said. There has been only one “reportable” accident at the intersection since 2004, Dean added. In a 2008 letter to Klein, Bronx DOT Commissioner Constance Moran listed eight accidents at the intersection since 2004.

Tranchese thinks that DOT has shown less concern on St. Theresa Avenue because St. Theresa School is a Catholic rather than a public school. DOT has installed speed humps near P.S. 71, Tranchese said.

The verdict is out on the intersection of St. Theresa and Edison avenues, Dean said. DOT expects to have results of its study by the end of 2009; there have been no reportable accidents at the intersection since 2004.

“DOT is working with the local community as it considers a range of safety improvements, including narrowing the roadway and adding signage that could effectively calm traffic in the area,” Dean said.

The senator appealed to Moran yet again in a letter addressed Friday, July 31. He mentioned the intersection of St. Theresa and Pilgrim avenues, and the intersection of Hutchinson River Parkway and Mayflower Avenue.

“I understand that neither of these locations met the federal requirements for stop signs,” Klein wrote. “While I can appreciate this, my constituents and I are still deeply concerned about speeding at both of these areas.”

The senator also suggested that DOT add “slow down” signage in Pelham Bay.

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