The NYC Department of Transportation, after a long fought effort by the Pelham Bay Taxpayers and Community Association, Community Board 10, and Councilman Jimmy Vacca, installed a traffic light at the corner of Roberts and Crosby avenues.
The light became fully operational last week, with members of the PBTCA, merchants in the area, and students at P.S. 71 and Our Lady of Assumption schools who use the intersection every day to get to and from school, breathing a sigh of relief.
The DOT received the request on behalf of CB 10 and Vacca, and studied the intersection in the fall, while school was in session.
“It is working and we are really happy about it,” said Frank Tranchese, who helped organize the petition drive for the traffic light. “A lot of merchants put petitions in their stores, and Community Board 10, the PBTCA, and Councilman Vacca all worked to make it possible. It was my idea.”
Tranchese said that he collected over 900 signatures from residents of Pelham Bay in favor of the a traffic light, and worked with area merchants, as well as members of the PBTCA, to collect the vast amount of signatures that prompted the DOT study. He also noted that there had been several close calls at the location while school was in session.
DOT spokesman Craig Chin confirmed that the agency received a request for a traffic study in June, and proceeded to conduct the study while school was in session this fall.
Area merchants were very pleased that after many years of requesting a signal at the location, mainly for the benefit of area young people and seniors, the traffic light at Crosby and Roberts avenues was finally installed.
“I am very happy they put the light up, and it is about time – we have been asking for this for the past 25 years,” said Vito Elia, of Vito’s Gourmet Deli and Meat Market at 1715 Crosby Avenue. “Now seniors can cross safely. Now children going to school can cross safely. It is a good thing.”
Councilman Vacca recalled that there had been requests for a light at the corner when he was district manager of CB 10, but that this time, it finally became a reality.
“This was approved several months ago, and I think it will go a long way towards enhancing public safety in Pelham Bay,” Vacca said. “Many seniors and parents of children have identified this intersection as a very dangerous crossing.”