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Locals want halt on stop trap

Brooklyn Daily
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Marine Park residents say the police department is using a confusing stop sign to trap motorists and drum up ticket revenue.

The stop sign on Avenue V near E. 38th Street sits several feet in front of the white line painted at the intersection, and drivers do not know whether to stop at the sign, the line, or both — which is leading to unwarranted tickets, said resident John Cortese.

“It just bothers me that they’re trapping people,” Cortese said.

Cortese’s daughter, who didn’t want to give her first name, said police handed her a $138 ticket for running a stop sign, even though she halted at the sign but not the line after it.

She doubts the officer could even see her roll over the line from his vantage point, parked on E. 38th Street facing away from the intersection.

“It was ridiculous,” she said. “He couldn’t have seen me.”

The “L”-shaped intersection is essentially a 90-degree turn with a stop sign. Drivers have no choice but to turn right onto E. 38th Street and there is no oncoming traffic from the left, leaving little room for traffic accidents.

And there isn’t enough foot traffic in the area to justify the crackdown, according to Cortese.

“Unless you are sneaking out of the golf course through the overgrown weeds, there is no pedestrian traffic there,” he said.

There were four collisions reported at the intersection between August 2011 and December 2013, none of which involved pedestrians or resulted any in injuries, according to police crash report data compiled by nyc.crashmapper.com.

A police department spokesperson would not comment on residents’ complaints, but representatives from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles said motorists must stop at the line, not the sign. The state law reads “a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line.”

A spokesperson from the Department of Transportation — which is responsible for sign placement and line-painting on city streets — said the department has not received any complaints about the location, but plans to check out the location and make changes if necessary.

The ticketed woman said she will not pay the fine unless she has to.

“I’m definitely going to fight the ticket,” she said.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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