Queens borough president allocating $500,000 for street safety improvements after deadly crashes

ByLindsay Tuchman, Eyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, March 25, 2024
New funding allocated for traffic safety in Queens
Lindsay Tuchman has the latest updates in the push for safer streets in Queens.

QUEENS (WABC) -- There is a push for more pedestrian safety in Queens, following several recent deadly accidents in the borough.

On the corner of Astoria Boulevard and 82nd Street in East Elmhurst, local leaders and transportation advocates gathered to say enough is enough.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards announced $500,000 to go toward safety improvements to Astoria Boulevard, which he says this year alone has seen 41 crashes and 30 injuries among both drivers and pedestrians.

There have been three fatal pedestrian crashes just in the past two weeks; including an 8-year-old boy who was in a crosswalk and hit by a man allegedly driving a truck recklessly.

The safety improvements will include curb extensions, new crosswalks and sidewalks, left turn bays and more.

Richards spoke about why this is needed now, while safety advocates who lost family members shared why it's important to them.

"Today we say enough speeding, enough tragedy not going to wait for the next person to lose their life to respond," Richards said.

"There's no denying the pain we're all experiencing and encounter daily as the lives of our loved ones, New York City streets, the reality that traffic violence has to end," said Juliane Williams, who lost a daughter to traffic violence.

Richards is also pushing for Albany to pass "Sammy's Law," a bill that's currently in committee that would allow the city of New York to lower speed limits locally without state approval.

Officials also want more scramble crosswalks, which stop traffic coming from all directions. That allows pedestrians to cross in every direction at the same time.

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