Wallace, Mace traffic light ends nightmare

Bobbi Brooks, local resident and activist; Mario Maljevic, local resident; Sharon Montes, assistant principal at JHS 135; and Lisa Junaid, local resident celebrate the start of construction for a traffic light at the corner of Wallace and Mace avenues. - Photo by Victor Chu

A much needed traffic light at the corner of Wallace and Mace avenues will add to the safety of local residents and school children. 

Last week, the city broke ground on the new light, which should be in use by the end of the month, ending what residents have called a traffic “nightmare.”

The intersection, just a short distance in two directions from Boston Road, a major thoroughfare, has been the scene of countless accidents over the years, as cars often speed up after passing the road, also known as US 1. 

“This intersection has been a nightmare,” said local resident Bobbi Brooks, who has been fighting for the traffic device for a number of years.  “There are accidents every couple of weeks.”

Added Maggie Rodriguez, “I’ve lived here for 15 years and I’ve seen so many accidents.”

As a result of numerous inquiries, Community Board 11 district manager John Fratta pushed the Department of Transportation to conduct the necessary study to evaluate if a light was justified in the location.

“This is a very dangerous intersection,” he said.  “We’ve been getting a lot of complaints, so I’m elated this is finally happening.”

Lisa Junaid, who lives across the street, couldn’t believe the news, “I’m so happy we’re getting this light.”

Brooks was just as happy with the announcement, giving credit where credit was due. 

“If it wasn’t for John Fratta, this never would have happened,” explained the thankful citizen. 

Fratta stated that the process it took to get the light was complicated, involving the city applying federal regulations.

“It’s frustrating when you know something is dangerous and you just have to wait, but the system did work.”

While the light will benefit all pedestrians, the parents and teachers of school children at J.H.S. 135 The Frank D. Whalen School are particularly affected. 

“It’s a difficult street for kids to cross,” explained Sharon Montes, an assistant principal at the school. 

Fratta credited the school and local residents for taking a stand and fighting for the needed improvement. 

“It showed that people in the community really care,” the district manager said. 

“I can’t tell you how happy we are,” Brooks added.  “I don’t have to worry about getting run over anymore.”

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