BRONX, NY – Last week, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) installed a traffic light at the corner of Kappock Street and Johnson Avenue, after Council Member Eric Dinowitz, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Bronx Community Board 8, Families for Safe Streets, and many community members expressed concerns about the location and the lack of pedestrian safety after a neighbor, Ruth Mullen, was struck and killed by a bus. The activation of the traffic light was announced for the end of last week.
Council Member Eric Dinowitz said: “The safety of our neighbors is of the utmost importance. After the tragic traffic-related death on this corner of Ruth Mullen, we immediately met with DOT and raised awareness to address the safety concerns of the neighborhood. Following this, DOT repainted the crosswalks, installed turn calming measures, improved nighttime visibility, and initiated a study to install a traffic light, as part of a series of pedestrian safety enhancements that the Assembly Member and I fought for. With the installation of this stoplight, the traffic improvements are now complete. With the safety improvements now installed, we look forward to increased enforcement of our traffic laws by law enforcement. I am thankful for DOT’s response to this situation, and I will keep working with our local agencies and community stakeholders to keep our streets safe and prevent tragedies in our community.”
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said: "The intersection of Johnson Avenue and Kappock Street has long been a dangerous intersection for pedestrians, as compliance with posted stop signs was obviously extremely low. The installation of a traffic signal will make it much clearer to both drivers and pedestrians how to navigate the intersection safely. It should not have taken the death of our neighbor, Ruth Mullen, to catalyze this decision but I am grateful for DOT's action here to help save future lives. This traffic signal is not a panacea, and we will likely need periodic enforcement of drivers' legal obligation to yield to pedestrians who are crossing the street. But for today, this is an excellent step in the direction of improved pedestrian safety."
Bronx Community Board 8 Chair Laura Spalter said: “As Ruth Mullen’s first death anniversary nears, we are grateful that the long-awaited traffic signal at Kappock Street and Johnson Ave is installed and functioning. It should not have taken Ruth’s tragic death to make this intersection safe. This important intersection upgrade goes a long way toward improving safety and the overall quality of life for those living near the Kappock Street & Johnson Ave intersection. We are proud to have worked with the Council Member, Assembly Member, DOT, and management of 2500 Johnson Ave to have this installation expedited.”