Concerned Pelham Bay Taxpayers and Community Association members had first asked Klein to request a study from the Department of Transportation of the intersection at Pilgrim and St. Theresa’s avenues earlier in the year after several close calls with traffic.
Klein sent a letter to DOT, asking that they look into the matter, as the PBTCA put together a petition, under the direction of 2nd vice president Frank Tranchese. Over 400 Pelham Bay residents signed the petition, but DOT did not move on Klein or the community’s request.
And then the community’s fears were realized when after a May meeting of the PBTCA at St. Theresa’s School, which is located at the busy corner, a young person was struck by a car at the intersection. The child survived, but now Klein hopes to have the problem remedied before another accident proves fatal.
“We requested the DOT look into putting a three-way stop sign in place before the accident even occurred,” Klein noted. “We sent a letter to the DOT about the matter, and subsequently the accident happened.”
Following an uproar of outrage from the Pelham Bay community, the DOT acquiesced to Klein’s request, and sent an engineer to see if a study was warranted.
“The DOT, at my urging, is now in the process of conducting a 12-week study of the intersection,” Klein explained. “We hope that the DOT will comply with my and the community’s demand, to put in place a three-way stop sign at the corner.” Presently, the corner has only one stop sign controlling Pilgrim Avenue, and many are concerned that a life could be lost if action is not taken soon.
“At our May meeting, we came out of St. Theresa’s school to find that a teenager on a skateboard had been hit by a car,” said Ed Romeo, president of the PBTCA. “I just feel a three-way stop sign is a good idea because it is in a school zone and would have prevented the accident.”
With a comprehensive elementary school, as well as a busy church, at the corner, the traffic safety measure seems like common sense.
“I used to work at the school, and now work at St. Theresa’s Rectory, where I can see the corner through my office window,” Angela Stoyka said. “People speed through there crazily; it is unbelievable –they come barreling through.”
Stoyka said besides school children and parishioners of the church, many seniors cross the street to run their daily errands.
“Senator Klein has been doing everything he can about the situation,” Romeo said.