DOT finally commits to traffic light study

Throggs Neck merchant Vito Elia spearheaded a petition to get the Department of Transportation to commit to conducting a traffic survey at the intersection of Roberts and Crosby avenues to determine whether or not a stoplight is needed. - Photo by Walter Pofeldt

After years of denied requests, Councilman Jimmy Vacca is happy to announce a secured commitment from the Department of Transportation to conduct a traffic survey at the intersection of Roberts and Crosby avenues, hopefully proving the community’s desperate need for intervention.

“I definitely believe that’s one of the most difficult intersections to cross,” Vacca explained. “I know; I’ve tried many times.”

Also agreeing with Vacca’s concern is Pelham Bay merchant Vito Elia, owner of Vito’s Gourmet Deli at 1715 Crosby Avenue.

“We have a lot of kids and no one’s stopping, everyone just keeps going,” Elia explained.

He said he first requested a stoplight at the dangerous intersection more than five years ago. Unfortunately his efforts failed, and so did a local driver when, a few years later, Elia said a pedestrian was hit and killed.

For Elia, enough was enough.

The first week of June he created a petition to further expedite his mission for the needed light. Just one week later, he collected 15 pages of signatures, with more on the way.

Pelham Bay Merchant’s Association president Sherry Scanlon said she too has seen the hazardous traffic conditions at Crosby and Roberts and applauds the neighborhood’s efforts.

“I think that’s definitely a good idea,” she said about the proposed instillation. “It gets very busy when school gets out.”

Busy indeed.

With P.S. 71, 3040 Roberts Avenue, up the street and Our Lady of the Assumption around the corner at 1617 Parkview Avenue, nearly 2,000 students travel through the busy Pelham Bay neighborhood every day. 

Vacca said he also worries about the many seniors who utilize the shopping district on a regular basis.

“I think a traffic light will go a long way,” he said.

Using the community’s deep concern, as well as his own desire to create pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, on Monday, June 16, Vacca proudly announced DOT’s promise for a sight inspection.

To be completed in the next 12 weeks, the survey’s results could mean a traffic light and safer streets for the  Pelham Bay  neighborhood

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