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City: No stop sign for Stuart Street

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They stopped the sign.

The city put the breaks on the push for a new stop sign along a notorious Stuart Street speedway after a traffic study concluded it wasn’t needed.

After Mayor DeBlasio raised locals’ hopes with a promise to expedite the study at a Sheepshead Bay Town Hall last month, the Department of Transportation denied the request, and instead will install a “No Standing Anytime” sign to improve pedestrians’ visibility when crossing the road from the parkside of Stuart Street, according to a spokesman for the city agency.

But that just seems silly to locals who have long pressed for a stop sign, since stationary four-wheelers are not the issue, said one Stuart Street resident.

“I just don’t understand how hard it is. It’s just a no-brainer there should be a stop sign, unfortunately, there’s not much more you can do — it just falls on deaf ears,” said Lonnie Elkin. “It’s just ludicrous, it gets more and more frustrating.”

The intersection is mere feet from Marine Park Junior High School, and a handful of teachers are often outside as kids walk home waving down motorists to hit the brakes.

“You have the school going out there with two or three people with stop signs in their hands stopping the cars because they are letting the kids out of school,” he said. “Or people walking their little ones, with their bikes and baby carriages, and they go to look every which way, you got to really be careful.”

After Hizzoner’s pledge to the packed audience on Sept. 14 that the city would finally study the area within six weeks, the Department of Transportation visited the intersection near Avenue S on Sept. 27. But using federal guidelines to evaluate the crossing during peak traffic times, the city decided not to greenlight the stop sign.

One Marine Parker said he thought he spotted a mobile speed camera near the Stuart Street and Avenue S junction, but the Department of Transportation said it can’t disclose speed-camera locations, according to the spokesman.

And now, instead of the stop sign, the agency will also begin another study to look at whether it should make the intersection an enhanced crosswalk — which would include a handicapped accessible pedestrian ramp, added signage, and thicker stripes — in order to make it more visible to speeding motorists, the spokesman said.

But that idea, even if it does get the go-ahead, won’t do the trick the way a simple red octagon could, said Elkin, who frets that sooner or later, the intersection is going to get somebody killed.

“It’s what to be expected from this city. It’s just a stop sign, it’s common sense to slow down the traffic, what’s the big deal?” he said. “Thank you, dear God, there hasn’t been accident fatalities there.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 1:34 am, July 10, 2018
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