Stop, Drop, Population Boom! Traffic Lights for Three Consecutive Kent Avenue Blocks

01/25/2012 1:52 PM |

Chaotic traffic on Kent Avenue at North 6th Street, sans traffic lights (from the 1953 film Pickup on South Street).
  • Chaotic traffic on Kent Avenue at North 6th Street, sans traffic lights (from the 1953 film Pickup on South Street).

With the arrival of thousands of new residents in the condos on the west side of Kent Avenue, crossing that heavily used industrial (and bicycle) thoroughfare has become a lot like a game of Frogger. New pedestrian islands are in the works, but the closest traffic lights are seven blocks to the north and ten blocks to the south, making this a popular stretch for speeding. That’s all about to come to a grinding halt.

The city’s Department of Transportation will be installing traffic lights at three Kent Avenue intersections—North 5th, North 6th and North 7th streets—just in time for spring’s droves of waterfront wanderers, DNAinfo reports. The traffic signals should be in place by May, the DOT says, ensuring safe crossing for the Northside’s booming population. Says State Senator Daniel Squadron of the forthcoming infrastructure:

Despite becoming increasingly residential in recent years, Kent lacked traffic signals at many key intersections—leaving more and more residents at risk. [...] That’s why it’s so important to make these safety improvements alongside development, rather than waiting until it’s done.

The many companies whose trucks take Kent Avenue en route to Greenpoint and points north probably feel differently about the coming red lights.

Follow Benjamin Sutton on Twitter @LMagArt