DOT Refuses to Install Needed Left Turn Signals

December 1, 2017

After repeated requests from Assemblyman Dinowitz and local residents, the Department of Transportation has continued to refuse to install left turn signals at West 256th Street and Riverdale Avenue and at West 231st Street and Riverdale Avenue.

Northbound traffic along Riverdale Avenue is backed up significantly when drivers cannot make left turns onto West 256th street, as the volume traffic from the southbound direction prevents cars from making the left. This allows only one or two cars to make a left turn per light change as traffic backs up in the left lane. This traffic is made far worse by cars and buses that park, double-park or triple-park outside P.S. 81. A left turn signal for the left lane would significantly improve the traffic difficulties at this intersection.

The intersection of Riverdale Avenue and West 231st poses significant risks for both motorists and pedestrians. First, traffic flowing southbound on Riverdale Avenue seeking to turn left onto West 231st Street does not have sufficient time to do so safely. The result is motorists making risky turns, putting themselves and pedestrians at risk. Additionally the lack of a left turn signal causes significant traffic back-up on the southbound side of Riverdale Avenue. A left turn only signal would remedy both of these problems, providing for a safer intersection.

“DOT responded to both requests saying that ‘additional traffic controls do not meet nationally recognized traffic engineering safety standards required for the installation of traffic controls’ however that seems to be the blanket response they use whenever they don’t want to do something. Nobody seems to be able to cite or explain which specific standards preclude these intersections from having left turn signals. In my opinion, if these intersections don’t meet ‘national standards’ then those standards ought to be adjusted. DOT needs to do its job and install left turn signals at both intersections, safety must come first,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.