The undersigned residents of Ancon Avenue wish to commend Mayor Volpe and the Board of Trustees for proposing certain changes to address the dangerous and unsafe current configuration of the 5-way intersection of Boulevard, Colonial Avenue, Kings Highway, Ancon Avenue and Manor Ridge Road (the Intersection). We unanimously agree that making the Intersection safe for residents and the community at large is our primary goal AND that the current condition of the Intersection is untenable and must be changed.
As currently configured and marked, the Intersection poses a danger and hazard to drivers and pedestrians alike. As residents of one of the streets that feeds into the Intersection, we have all experienced “near miss” accidents on multiple occasions due to, among other things, the lack of proper signage, lack of adequate traffic calming devices, failure of drivers to yield the right-of-way, and blind spots that inhibit the ability to safely navigate certain turns. From our own daily observations, we believe that traffic has gotten worse in the Intersection over the last few years, leading to more frequent “near miss” accidents. In addition, confusion at the intersection leads to daily incidents of so-far minor road rage; houses at the end of the street hear the persistent honking of car horns, and there has been more than one situation where vehicles have followed correctly-turning residents out of the Intersection and behaved in a threatening manner after a confrontation in the Intersection.
We have also observed that due to inadequate signage and lack of proper traffic calming devices, vehicles traveling westbound on Kings Highway, in particular, persistently fail to stop at the stop sign and fail to yield to vehicles already in the intersection which have the right-of-way. Linked here is a drone video of the Intersection taken on the morning of May 21, 2018 bearing out these facts. [http://liquidcreativenyc.com/intersection.mp4] Quite simply, many of us feel that we are taking our lives in our hands each time we travel through the Intersection, so we try to avoid it entirely. Accordingly, in order to make the Intersection safe, we believe that, at a minimum, the Intersection requires the following:
- Clear signage at all approaches informing drivers that this is a multi-street intersection (i.e., ALL-WAY STOP), with warnings to approach with caution, come to a complete stop, proceed in order of arrival, and yield to vehicles already in the intersection that have the right-of-way (i.e., YIELD TO TURNING CAR).
- All streets feeding into the intersection should have painted STOP language on road surfaces.
- Clearly marked pedestrian crosswalks with signage indicating “PEDESTRIAN CROSSING AHEAD”, PEDESTRIAN RIGHT OF WAY”, etc. Perhaps even “in the road” standups such as at Highbrook and the train station.
We have reviewed the Short Term proposal presented at the May 15, 2018 Board meeting and have the following comments and questions:
- We do not believe the Board and traffic consultant have provided the public with sufficient information at present to properly analyze the Short Term proposal in order to arrive at a consensus whether converting the Intersection from a 5-way to a 4-way intersection would resolve the Intersection’s current problems.
- The public should be provided with the full variety of options the traffic consultant considered prior to drafting the Short Term proposal. For example, were other traffic calming devices considered such as:
- A traffic circle or rotary?
- Adding speed bumps or humps?
- Moving the stop sign lines forward (in particular at Ancon and Kings Highway) to lessen the effect of blind spots?
- Consider a lower speed posting approaching the intersection westbound on Kings Highway?
- Consider having either a police presence at the Intersection or installation of extremely well-advertised full-stop traffic cameras that actually result in the automatic issuing of moving violations to enforce ongoing traffic violations?
- It does not appear that the traffic consultant performed any traffic study prior to drafting the Short Term proposal. We request that a traffic study be performed which would better inform the traffic consultant about the underlying traffic problems in the Intersection, and how best they can be addressed.
- Regarding the current version of the Short Term proposal,
- We are opposed to the removal/moving of the stop sign at the northeast corner of Ancon and Kings Highway (i.e. moving the stop sign at Kings Highway and Ancon to the new 4-way Intersection after Ancon). This would make it dangerous and virtually impossible to turn right from Ancon onto Kings Highway/Colonial given the constant stream of westbound traffic on Kings Highway and the lack of visibility. Also, it would likely result in vehicles whipping quickly around the right turn onto Ancon without having to slow down first.
- We are opposed to the conversion of Colonial Avenue eastbound and Kings Highway westbound from stop-controlled to free-moving, as written in the proposal and as stated by the traffic consultant. This would only add to the dangerous nature of the Intersection, encourage speeding, and greatly hinder the ability of vehicles from the other intersecting streets (Boulevard, Ancon and Manor Ridge) to safely turn onto Colonial or Kings Highway.
In sum, the undersigned appreciate the Board’s commitment to addressing the current untenable condition of the Intersection, and strongly reiterate our goal of making the Intersection SAFE for residents and the community.
UPDATE: The committee members have been chosen. Eight members are from Ancon and Elise along with one Village Trustee. There will be a “kickoff” meeting on June 6. The traffic consultant will not attend this meeting.
Ancon Avenue Residents:
Marissa and Landon Clark, 164 Ancon Avenue
Imelda and Bradley Davis, 278 Ancon Avenue
Jennifer DeLeonardo and Adam Frey, 242 Ancon Avenue
Mary and John DeYoung, 170 Ancon Avenue
Joanne Douvas and Raymond Beeler, 254 Ancon Avenue
Elise Falkinburg, 251 Ancon Avenue
Eileen and James Gregware, 248 Ancon Avenue
Lisa and Evan Hill-Ries, 274 Ancon Avenue
Mary and Eamon McCooey, 236 Ancon Avenue
Marni and John Pedorella, 218 Ancon Avenue
Liz and George Perreten, 263 Ancon Avenue
Eileen and Boyer Proffitt, 241 Ancon Avenue
Emmanuelle and Victor Rivera, 257 Ancon Avenue
Anique and Aaron Scharf, 266 Ancon Avenue
Pamela and Rebecca Stramiello, 212 Ancon Avenue
Suzanne and Peter Wies, 230 Ancon Avenue