Beginning to see the light! New traffic signal coming to Columbia Street

Look both ways: The city will — at some point — build a new traffic light and crosswalk on Columbia Street at and Congress Street.
The Brooklyn Paper
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This project has a green light — and a red and yellow one, too!

The city will install a new stop light and crosswalk on Columbia Street at Congress Street next year, following years of complaints by locals who claim the combination of cars zooming onto the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and families dashing across the asphalt on their way to nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park is a disaster waiting to happen.

“As a father of two boys, I’ve been going to Brooklyn Bridge Park with strollers and scooters for years, and the Congress Street intersection is not the most pleasant spot to cross,” said Gary Reilly, a Carroll Gardens resident and chairman of Community Board 6, which has been asking the city to make the crossing safer for years in chorus with local pols and civic groups.

There is already a light and crossing a block away at the entrance to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, but local streets funnel many park-going pedestrians to the Congress Street intersection first, and many evidently opt to play real-life Frogger by crossing immediately instead of walking the extra few hundred feet.

Others claim they would rather just stay home than risk crossing anywhere on the treacherous thoroughfare.

“My husband and I have sometimes avoided walking to Brooklyn Bridge Park due to the danger of crossing Columbia and I’ve heard near-death stories from neighboring families,” said Laurel Burr, president of civic group the Cobble Hill Association.

There have been four car crashes at the Columbia at Congress streets intersection this year, though none involving pedestrians, according to city data.

The city plans to install the new signal and crosswalk in January 2016.

Reach reporter Harry MacCormack at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @HMacBKPaper.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018: Updated with projected completion date.
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Reasonable discourse

sad but true from Congress St says:
This traffic light as well as all put on smaller local streets don't make the street safer, and to the contrary they make it more dangerous.

A simple fact of life is that traffic lights lead to increased speeds by motorists. Everyone does it, when seeing a traffic light, they speed up to beat it. This in turn INCREASES pedestrians and motorists susceptibility to accidents.

A nice stop sign is the best way to slow things down, even if some motorists don't come to a full stop, they're going slow enough to react to situations before them.

Traffic lights increase speed, congestion, fuel consumption, pollution and severity of accidents.

DOT needs to stop appeasing requests for traffic lights in exchange for serenity. Choosing the wrong traffic control can be a fatal mistake.
Oct. 5, 2015, 10:56 am

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