Community pushes for pedestrian safety in western Queens


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com |

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano
THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, other elected officials and residents gathered on Friday, September 27 at the intersection of Queens Plaza North and 27th Street, where a woman was recently fatally struck, to call on the Department of Transportation to enforce stronger pedestrian safety measures.

Update Tuesday, October 1, 6:00 p.m. 

After three pedestrians were struck in the last three months — two fatally and one left in critical condition — the western Queens community is asking for safer traffic measures. 

According to police, on Friday, September 13 a woman was struck and killed as she was crossing Queens Plaza North and 27th Street. Just two month before, on July 2, another woman was struck and critically injured on 29th Street, just two blocks down. 

“We have a growing epidemic where pedestrians are not safe on the sidewalks and the streets of Queensboro Plaza,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, who recently helped bring improvements to an intersection in front of LaGuardia Community College where a 16-year-old high school student was struck and killed in March. “Dutch Kills and Long Island City are home to thousands of new residents as well as hundreds of growing businesses. More and more people are crossing through Queensboro Plaza every single day.”

Van Bramer gathered along with other elected officials and residents on Friday, September 27 at the intersection of Queens Plaza North and 27th Street to ask the Department of Transportation (DOT) for street safety enhancements to the busy plaza near the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. 

The changes to increase pedestrian safety at Queensboro Plaza include extending the current 20 second countdown clocks at the crosswalks to give pedestrians more time to cross the congested streets and installing more street signage allowing pedestrians to be more alert of bicycle lanes.

“Crossing Queens Plaza should not be like playing Frogger,” said Noah Budnick, deputy director of Transportation Alternatives. “We’re sending the message that traffic crashes are preventable.”

According to the DOT, between 2007 to 2011, there has been one reported pedestrian injury at the intersection of Queens Plaza North and 27th Street and from 2007 to present, there has been one fatality.

“Safety is DOT’s top priority and the agency is currently reviewing the location to see if there are ways to further enhance safety at this intersection and the surrounding area for all street users, including possible upgrades to signage,” said Nicholas Mosquera, DOT spokesperson.

A day after the call for safety measures in Queens Plaza, 19 year old Luis Bravo lost his life in a hit-and-run along Broadway in Woodside.

“Yet another person has been killed here in western Queens as a result of a vehicular collision,” said Van Bramer. “For over a year now the Department of Transportation has not done anything about motorists speeding along Broadway here in Woodside. Every time a pedestrian is struck and dies as a result of a vehicular collision we will speak out against it.”

Photo Courtesy Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer

The councilmember gathered with local officials and residents on October 1 at the corner of 58th Street and Broadway where Bravo was struck and the vehicle fled the scene, to ask the DOT to bring safety measures to that area as well.

“It is heartbreaking anytime a young person’s life is lost, but this instance hurts because it was so sudden and the driver who killed Luis and sped off is still at large,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “I urge everyone in our community to join together to bring this hit-and-run driver to justice, and I urge the DOT to do everything it can to make our streets safer.”

Anyone with information on the hit-and-run is encouraged to contact NYPD’s Crime Stoppers by calling 800-577-TIPS.

 

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  • http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/ cleanupjamaicaqueens

    First, 2 people dying (which is unfortunate) is not a growing epidemic. Two, the solution for this is simple and common sense like many quality of life issue in NYC. Just change the damn timing of the light countdown clocks. Second mark the lanes clearly. Third add a traffic officer.

    If you really want to do something, install a walking bridge. It is not expensive to do, it can be done in this area and it solves the problem. Other cities have such bridges with problematic areas.

    It is not fucking rocket science and you do not need to hold a fucking press conference. You just need to come up with a simple action plan and do it.

    Why the fuck is everything like building the pyramids.

    Now send me my $100,000 consulting fee because you know you will spend over triple that amount in feasibility studies, outside consultants and other bullshit and by that time, you actually do it, do it wrong and then have to start over, 100 people will have been killed and then you can call it an epidemic.