Call For DOT To Improve Deadly Intersection
On Thursday, April 13, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, Flor Jimenez, 29, widow of Gelacio Reyes, a cyclist killed on April 1 by a drunk motorist who fled the scene after the crash, Transportation Alternatives, Make Queens Safer, senior citizens from Sunnyside Community Services, and Community Board 2 called on the Department of Transportation to take immediate action to implement vital street safety improvements to the intersection of 39th Street and 43rd Avenue, after two crashes involving cyclists occurred within a 10-day period in the same intersection.
“Two cyclists killed or seriously injured in 10 days in the same intersection is not where we need to be when it comes to realizing Vision Zero,” said Van Bramer. “I am calling on the Department of Transportation to make immediate and vital safety improvements to this dangerous intersection before another cyclist, pedestrian, or motorist is killed.”
“It has become evident from yet another crash at 43rd Ave and 39th Street in Sunnyside that we need swift action to protect cyclists who use the key commuting corridor on 43rd Ave.” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “The DOT already has all the tools it needs to prevent deaths and injuries at this intersection and others like it around the city. Now that Mayor de Blasio has made an additional budgetary commitment to street redesigns, the city needs to move quickly to fix dangerous corridors like 43rd Avenue with protected bike lanes and intersection safety improvements that meet a Vision Zero design standard.”
On April 1, Gelacio Reyes was killed in a hit-and-run crash on his way home from work at 3 a.m. by a drunk and unlicensed driver. Only 10 days later, at 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning, April 11, David Nuñez was struck by a box truck in the same intersection and is still hospitalized with serious injuries. The driver of the box truck, who remained at the scene, was arrested by the NYPD and charged with failure to yield to a cyclist. Majority Leader Van Bramer and transportation safety advocates are calling for protected bike lanes with physical barriers, a leading pedestrian interval, proper enforcement of motorists that speed and run red lights, and more visible signage that alerts drivers to cyclists along 43rd Avenue.