PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn -- There's a new push to maintain and expand a program in New York City aimed at getting drivers to slow down.
The city's plan to improve safety at a dangerous intersection was announced on Wednesday.
People in Park Slope have been waiting to hear the plan in the wake of a deadly accident at 5th Avenue and 9th Street that claimed the lives of two children.
Under the plan, 9th Street would have new protected bike lanes and safer crossings.
It was in March when Broadway actress Ruthie Ann Miles' 4-year-old daughter Abigail Blumenstein was killed when a driver allegedly suffered a medical condition, lost control of her car and sped through a crowded crosswalk. Miles' friend's 1-year-old son, Josh Lew, was also killed. Miles was pregnant at the time, but two months later, she lost her unborn child.
The driver, Dorothy Bruns, 44, is facing manslaughter charges.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is also pushing to expand speed camera legislation. The current program will have to be approved by the end of next month by legislators to continue.
"We are doing our part with a redesign of 9th Street to reduce speeding and make it safer," de Blasio said. "Now we need Albany to its part. We need school zone speed camera legislation extended and expanded immediately to prevent future tragedies on our streets. Speed cameras save lives."
The mayor says he would like to:
- Authorize the City to install speed cameras at an additional 150 school zones-more than double the current number.
- Revise the definition of a school zone to allow DOT to address speeding on streets that are near a school, as opposed to only the street or streets on which a school is located. For example, despite three different schools located along 7th or 8th Streets in Park Slope, no cameras are now allowed along 9th Street, which students from those schools walk across every day.
- Extend the program until 2022
Since cameras were established in school zones, the number of pedestrian accidents in those zones have dropped by 63 percent.
One reason why Albany has not yet approved this legislation yet for this year is because de Blasio is extremely unpopular with many Republicans who control the state senate.
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Pedestrian safety push by Mayor de Blasio after deadly Park Slope crash