Manhattan Beach won’t have to wait much longer to find out if it’s going to get a new traffic light on Oriental Boulevard.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) told the Bay News this week that the traffic study begun in June would wrap up at the end of this month.
The study of the Oriental Boulevard and Irwin Street intersection was supposed to be completed by now, but community concern that a survey done while classes at Kingsborough Community were in recess would be ineffective convinced the DOT to extend the period of study.
The DOT officially uses a multi-point federal “warrant system” to determine whether a new traffic signal is justified.
Among the areas the city has been monitoring over the survey period include vehicle and pedestrian volume and the number of preventable accidents occurring at the intersection.
Calls for a new traffic signal at Oriental Boulevard and Irwin Street intensified in May when a KCC student named Youzdjan Bekir was killed after his motorcycle collided with an automobile at the corner.
With students returning to KCC this month in droves, some local residents fear that without a new light another accident is just waiting to happen.
“I’ve never seen so much traffic in my life,” said Edmond Dweck.
The DOT says they are now working with the local police precinct to obtain accident figures for the survey.
DOT spokesperson Craig Chin would not say just how soon a traffic light could be installed at the intersection at the conclusion of the survey period.
“It’s too early to comment about that,” he said. “I don’t want to speculate. It could get denied.”
DOT officials said that the survey centered on the Oriental Boulevard and Irwin Street intersection and was not intended to try to measure the effectiveness of the flashing signal installed at Oriental Boulevard and Ocean Avenue.
Critics who are calling for a new traffic light on Irwin Street also say that the flashing light at Ocean Avenue should be upgraded to a fully functioning traffic signal.
Each new light installed costs the city $50,000.
©2008 Community News Group
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