Last weekend, the Department of Transportation installed a new traffic light on East 18th Street and Avenue C, along with pedestrian crossing signals, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
The push for a traffic light where there was once only a stop sign predates even the accident, which left Williams with a year’s worth of jail time. It compounded a stiffer, five-year sentence he received for trying to cover up the accidental shooting of his limo driver.
Mark Thompson, chair of Community Board 6, said residents have been advocating for the light for about a decade. The DOT’s announcement was greeted with a round of applause during a Community Board 6 transportation committee meeting on Monday night.
“When Jayson had his issue, that helped bring it to the forefront,” Thompson said. “Maybe he wasn’t driving in a proper manner, but it really is a dangerous intersection.
Williams smashed his Mercedes SUV into a tree near the intersection early one January morning in 2010, and police found him sitting in the passenger seat, claiming the driver had fled.
After the accident, Larry Scheyer, a member of Community Board 6 and a Stuyvesant Town resident, shot video footage of the intersection and sent it to the Department of Transportation, said Thompson, himself a Stuy Town resident.
“I think what really did it was the video that Larry Scheyer took,” Thompson added, calling the new signal “one of those long-term things where you can make something good happen and improve safety.”