Councilman Koppell Wants “Sadik-Kahn” Fired Over Turn Signal
More termed-out wackiness from City Hall. Last week, Bronx City Council Member G. Oliver Koppell issued a press release calling for the "resignation or removal" of DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. The reason? Koppell wants a left turn signal at 254th Street and Riverdale Avenue, and DOT doesn't think the intersection needs one.
Koppell says there have been "many accidents" at the intersection due to traffic volume and the difficulty of making left hand turns, and that "Deputy Inspector Pilecki from the Bronx DOT" agrees that a turn signal is needed. But a city source tells Streetsblog that DOT has inspected the intersection many times, at Koppell's request, and disagrees with the councilman's assessment. (For what it's worth, CrashStat shows fewer than five bike-ped-involved collisions there between 1995 and 2005.) Deputy Inspector Pilecki is actually with the NYPD, which our source says has stationed officers at the interchange only at the behest of the councilman.
From Koppell's press release [PDF]:
"Commissioner Sadik-Kahn [sic] has shown arrogance and a total disregard for our community's needs and safety," Koppell said. "Her lack of sensitivity and understanding necessitates that she resign or be dismissed."
The statement says that Koppell, who is a former Assembly member and New York State attorney general, has been asking for the signal "for the past four years." We contacted Koppell's office to see if he ever demanded that former Commissioner Iris Weinshall lose her job during the first three years of his quest -- and if, as we hear, the intersection is along the route between the councilman's home and office. We are awaiting a call back.