A Morris Park resident was able to get a problem intersection revamped, and all it took was a video camera and some internet savvy.
Vincent Ferrari has long considered the intersection of Lydig and Colden avenues to be a concern, mainly because cars coming down Lydig, onto Colden Avenue would ignore a stop sign. And if it the driver paid any attention at all, they would usually just give a cursory break pump, before rolling right through. To Ferrari, this disregard created a major safety hazard.
So on Wednesday, January 4, while he was waiting in his car, at the intersection, for his wife. Ferrari fired up the digital video camera he always carries around, and made a 25-minute video of cars disregarding the stop sign. He uploaded the video to YouTube, and the following morning posted it on Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s Facebook wall. And when Vacca checked the page, he sprung into action.
“People come down around that corner and don’t stop,” Ferrari said. He counted 43 cars going through the intersection while he was filming, and only two came to a full stop.
“It’s not the busiest street in the world,” Ferrari. “It’s not like there’s going to be a 20-car pileup, but there are kids and because it’s a hill, kids on their skateboards go flying down that hill all the time. They come down literally on their bellies. They use it like a luge track.”
Once Vacca saw the video, he reached out to the city’s Department of Transportation, and paid an visit to the intersection himself.
I saw his posting, and I was very upset by it,” Vacca said. “To be honest. As I promised on Facebook, I would meet with him by day’s end. I got there around 5:30 on Thursday evening. I can’t say most cars sped through the stop sign, but they rolled through it. Most did not come to a full stop.”
Vacca and Ferrari noticed, among other things, that lines in the street had not been repainted following a construction project several months ago. A DOT spokesperson said that those lines will be repainted in the coming weeks. Ferrari also said he noticed a police car stationed at the intersection the day following the meeting.
And unfortunately, the trend of not obeying stop signs is not limited to Lydig and Colden.
“Many people are driving too quickly and not obeying existing signs,” Vacca said. “I do think his tape was clear proof that this is too common.”
Bill Weisbrod can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3394.