New Mid-Block Signal, Crosswalk, Lane Markings to Improve Safety for Children and Families

QUEENS, NY – Borough President Melinda Katz, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), elected officials, community leaders, families and young players of the Rosedale Little League unveiled the newly-installed measures to improve pedestrian safety along heavily trafficked 147th Avenue between the two segments of Brookville Park and at other intersections in the vicinity.

“There was a clear need to take action for the kids, seniors and families of Rosedale here in Brookville Park,” Queens Borough President KATZ said. “This is an example of what results when a community continues to press and doesn’t give up, and when government works together. Many thanks to the families of the community who refused to take no for an answer, especially to our very own Alec McFarlane, and of course to the Department of Transportation for hearing the community and taking another look in the shared interest of our kids’ safety.”

“Thanks to the leadership of Borough President Katz, the community and elected leaders, crossing the street is now safer for park users and playing ball,” DOT Queens Borough Commissioner NICOLE GARCIA said. “The new safety treatments are a winning result from the City’s Vision Zero playbook, where DOT is committed to collaborating more closely with local stakeholders to redesign neighborhood streets so they are safer for residents of all ages.”

The DOT recently installed the new pedestrian crossing signal, crosswalk and lane markings on 147th Avenue between the game fields used by the Rosedale Little League (ages 4-17) on both the north and south sides of the road.  The straight stretch of the avenue is prone to vehicles traveling above the speed limit, especially with over 1,500 feet between the traffic signal at Brookville Boulevard and the one at 230nd Place.

For years, parents, elected officials and community members had made repeated requests for safety measures on 147th Avenue; the requests were previously denied by DOT in 2010. The Rosedale Little League, community leaders and families, however, never gave up and DOT was happy to give it a fresh look.

In addition to the new pedestrian crossing signal and lane markings on 147th Avenue, DOT this year has already completed multiple studies on Brookville Boulevard which fronts the east side of Brookville Park between 142nd and 147th Avenues. As a result, three new signals have been approved on Brookville Boulevard at 143rd, 144th and Newhall Avenue and are expected to be installed by the end of June.

“I am thrilled to see the results of this collaboration among community members and city government,” Comptroller SCOTT STRINGER said. “I want to thank Borough President Katz, and all the local advocates and elected officials who, for years, have continued to push the Department of Transportation for improved safety measures in Brookville Park. Now, local residents and children can count on a more secure walkway through the park, which is a great victory for the quality of life in Rosedale.”

“The addition of these new safety measures demonstrates what can be accomplished when community members and elected officials work together,” State Senator JAMES SANDERS, JR said. “Although we cannot erase what happened to Alec McFarlane in 2013, we can prevent future accidents and perhaps even save lives moving forward. This is a new beginning. Now, pedestrians, parents and children can feel a little safer knowing that there is a new crossing signal and crosswalk and lane markings.”

“These new measures are a direct result of unyielding persistence and a unified commitment to the safety of both Rosedale residents and their children,” Assemblywoman MICHELE TITUS said. “I applaud the efforts and the unyielding dedication the community has had for keeping this a priority.”

“After 7-year-old Alec McFarlane was struck by a car between the baseball fields, my office immediately reached out to the community and DOT Queens Borough Commissioner to schedule a personal tour of the area where we discussed needed safety improvements,” Councilmember DONOVAN RICHARDS said. “This year, as I helped open Rosedale Little League’s 2015 season, I was able to share with pride that the community’s hard work had come to fruition – our youth and seniors would no longer have to fear for their safety as they crossed the street. I applaud DOT for installing these safety measures and protecting all of our families involved with the Rosedale Little League. I am proud to continue our partnership as we bring even more improvements to Council District 31 and New York City as a whole.”

The location was the scene of an April 2013 crash involving a Rosedale Little League player, then-7-year-old Alec McFarlane, who was struck by a car as he crossed 147th Avenue between the baseball fields. Alec needed four staples in his head but survived the crash and continues to play in the Rosedale Little League.

The new signal will flash yellow continuously until a button is pressed by a pedestrian seeking to cross the street, at which time the signal will turn red to allow the pedestrians of all ages to cross.

“This is an example to everyone that if you stand together progress will happen,” Rosedale Little League President BERNIE BROWN said. “Children of all ages, parents and grandparents cross this busy street, and when the traffic is backed up at Sunrise Highway we get double the traffic on Brookville Blvd.  People are rushing home from work and still running the red light, but overall they are stopping.  It took about ten years to get this light and hopefully it won’t take that long for the community to become part of the solution instead of part of the problem. People should think whether the five minutes that they are rushing to get somewhere is more important than someone’s life.  If the answer is no, then they will embrace the light and wait for the pedestrians to cross because every life is special.  The traffic light on Brookville Blvd is long overdue and the Rosedale Little League wants to thank Borough President Katz and Councilman Richards for ensuring that this safety device was installed.”

“Your safety is our concern, safe drivers save lives,” NYPD 105th Precinct Executive Officer CAPTAIN NETEIS GILBERT said.

“Community Board 13 repeatedly advocated for more pedestrian safety to protect our residents along Brookville Boulevard,” Queens Community Board 13 Chair BRYAN BLOCK said. “Finally we have the protections in place for the safety of the residents of Rosedale, and especially for our seniors and youths. We appreciate Borough President Katz for using the power of her office to fight for our community.  Our leaders saw the need for additional safety measures along 147 Street and Brookville Boulevard, and refused to take no for an answer.”

“For several years, the Rosedale Civic Association documented the need to have this traffic control device, in consultation with residents-users of the wonderful Brookville Park,” Rosedale Civic Association President IRNEL STEPHEN said. “We are satisfied that finally a combination of ‘common sense’ and a new approach to effective delivery of public services have prevailed.”

Photos available upon request.

Follow Borough President Katz via @melindakatz or