Help us Make a Safer Skillman Avenue!
We’re a group of neighbors who live near Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside and Woodside. Some of us have children, and all of us have elderly friends. We’re tired of feeling afraid when we cross the street. In this stretch alone, between 1995 and 2001, there were 11 crashes resulting in pedestrian injury – almost two crashes a year.
On November 1, a van crashed into the front door of Aubergine Café. This is a popular meeting spot for parents with children, and a child was almost killed by this van. This was the second vehicle to hit that corner this year, and the third in three years.
On December 29, two cars collided at the corner of 51st Street and Skillman Avenue. At this point we do not know if anyone was seriously injured.
It doesn’t have to be this dangerous. In the past fifty years, Skillman and 43rd Avenues have served as one-way shortcuts to and from the 59th Street Bridge. Possible solutions that we have been looking at include a traffic signal at the corner of Skillman Avenue and 51st Street, and speed bumps along 50th Street. Recent advances in “traffic calming” technology give us other tools as well.
On November 20, we invited traffic calming experts from Transportation Alternatives to our neighborhood to see the speeding cars and the threatened pedestrians. On December 10, they released their recommendations, which focus on increasing safety by narrowing the avenue and increasing visibility. We will be using their recommendations and other ideas, and we aim to bring the whole neighborhood together to decide on the best way to make our area safer. We need your help to create a plan that works for the neighborhood, and put it into practice. Please contact us and help make a safer Skillman Avenue.
Photos by J. Millus