Avenue A and 4th gets its traffic light back

Amazon will foot the bill after city holds its requests hostage

The traffic light at the intersection of Avenue A and 4th Street will be reinstalled, according to City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski.

Residents had publicly complained about the issue in July. Ashe-Nadrowski said at the August meeting that after years, there would again be a traffic light at the intersection.

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Resident Mike Morris said it was important to reinstall a traffic light at the intersection because it was a school zone for the nearby Henry Harris Community School.

The light was last shown on Google Maps in September 2012. By 2013, it was gone. It’s not clear what led to its removal.

“Amazon, the property owner, has agreed to put it in,” Ashe-Nadrowski said.

Amazon opened a delivery station off Avenue A last year, creating a myriad of local jobs. Best Foods operated at the site until it closed in 2013 along with many businesses in the area.

Design changes requested

Amazon is requesting a number of amendments to the delivery station’s design and must come back for the appropriate city approvals, according to Ashe-Nadrowski.

“We told them, before we approve any changes, they had to put the light in, and they have agreed to it,” Ashe-Nadrowski said.

Ashe-Nadrowski said that construction of the traffic light was not yet sent out to bid because there were a couple of other things the city is asking for in exchange for Amazon’s proposed changes. One request is closing off Amazon traffic to Bayview Court overnight.

“We’re asking them to close Bayview during overnight hours, so that the back gate would only be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “Most of their workers are coming in during the day, and deliveries come at night, so it wouldn’t be that much of an impact.”

Another request of Amazon is to fix the sewer plate on Bayview to prevent it from rattling when vehicles drive over it.

Addressing local issues

Ashe-Nadrowski said Amazon has also taken other steps to alleviate some minor issues in the area.

Amazon “did widen the driveway tremendously, so that they could make that turn, so that they could handle the in and out of tractor trailers on Fourth Street,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “They did replace the trees … I think they’re a little Charlie Brownish.”

The replacement trees are much smaller than the originals, Ashe-Nadrowski said. Some of them died and had to be replaced, she added.

“In the original agreement, they said they would plant five-foot trees, and they certainly were not five-foot trees,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “Here we are three years later, and they’re still not five feet. But we do keep on top of them, and they have replaced them. I don’t think they have a good irrigation system over there.”

Council on a roll

The council encourages residents to come to it with problems and is cataloging its successes.

Recently, resident efforts to have a sidewalk-blocking fence pushed back on the corner of West 7th Street proved effective when the city rectified the issue within a month of bringing up the issue at the meeting. And now the stalled construction project behind the fence at the site is moving forward after being sold to a new owner.

In response to another resident’s comments suggesting each council member hold ward meetings for their residents, First Ward City Councilman Neil Carroll said these types of meetings led to the residents speaking out at past council meetings and getting what they want including the fence pushed back.

“I’ve had several ward meetings with individuals that have reached out to me. They asked me to come to their block to look at a specific issue, which then resulted in them coming to meetings and the issue being resolved. So absolutely a great idea.”

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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