“We have been waiting a long time for this light,” said Assemblyman Joseph Lentol. “The safety of this community is of the greatest importance to me, and this traffic light will definitely increase the safety of pedestrians and motorists alike.”
A letter written to the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) by the assemblyman advocating the installation of a traffic light was originally sent to then-Commissioner Riccio in August of 1990.
The subsequent investigation determined that the intersection did not warrant a traffic light. Since then countless letters have been written by the assemblyman’s office, but the decision handed down by DOT never changed. Until now.
The most recent letter from Lentol to the DOT received a response this past February. Citing a new investigation the DOT determined that a traffic light is needed and would be installed at the intersection by June 30. Installation was completed more than two weeks ahead of schedule.
The installation of the traffic signal was also called for by the Concerned Citizens of Withers Street, an area block association, Community Board 1, and many local residents. These advocates called attention to accidents that occurred at the intersection, as well as the overall lack of safety of those crossing the street.
“This should have been addressed a long time ago, but we are glad the light was finally installed,” said Tish Cianciotta, a longtime Withers Street resident and Community Board 1 member.
Her husband, Guido Cianciotta, added, “Cooper Park Houses are right up the block, not to mention the Bravo Supermarket and several new condos. People are always crossing this intersection and now we can do it safely.”