Vacca Secures Traffic Light for Hazardous Crossway In Front Of Pelham Gardens’ PS 97


Council Member James Vacca and PS 97 Principal Kathleen Bornkamp stand at the intersection of Fish and Mace avenues, where a new red light traffic signal will be installed. Photo c/o Councilman Vacca.

At the request of Council Member James Vacca and Community Board 11, the Department of Transportation (DOT) will install a traffic light at the intersection of Fish and Mace avenues near PS 97 in Pelham Gardens. The light will be installed this November. [As someone who lives a one minute walk from this intersection, a quick editorial note: This is fantastic news.]

“The P.S. 97 community is so thankful to Councilman Vacca for all of his support and help with getting our new traffic light,” said PS 97 Principal Kathleen Bornkamp. “After numerous accidents involving both cars and parents being hit by cars, I am so happy to hear that a light will be installed on the corner of Mace and Fish avenues.  I have been working along with my community for seven years trying to get this light and Councilman Vacca has been working alongside of us for most of the way.  It is so nice when all of our hard work pays off and we are able to work together to provide a safer community for all of our members.  Thank you Councilman Vacca for always supporting and coming through for P.S. 97!”

DOT placed flashing yellow traffic lights at this location in 2008, but this did little to slow down speeding vehicles driving on Mace Avenue, which is a very steep hill leading to Fish Avenue, origially a valley in which Stoney Brook ran through until the early 1900s.

“Due to Council Member Vacca’s persistence and commitment, we have finally secured this much-needed traffic light, which will go a long way towards improving safety in the community. It has been a pleasure to work with him and his office on this issue,” said Tony Vitaliano, Chair of Community Board 11.

With PS 97 at the foot of the hill, the lack of a red light traffic signal caused a serious safety issue for pedestrians, particularly the young children who attended the school, even with active crossing guards in the vicinity.

“Speeding cars have been a dangerous problem at this intersection for years, especially with an elementary school so close by. I’m glad DOT has listened to the requests of the community and decided to install a full traffic light here. This will make life much safer and easier for both pedestrians and drivers in this neighborhood,” said Council Member Vacca.


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