Chin, Squadron Call on City to Address Delancey Street Safety Concerns

Delancey Street, near Chrystie -- the scene of last week's fatal accident.

City Councilmember Margaret Chin and State Senator Daniel Squadron are just out with a statement on last week’s accident on Delancey Street that killed cyclist Jeffrey Axelrod of Brooklyn:

Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Council member Margaret Chin called on the Department of Transportation to address the serious safety concerns on the Delancey Street corridor. In a letter to DOT, Senator Squadron and Council member Chin highlighted the fatal accident on Delancey and Chrystie Streets last week as the latest reminder of the need to immediately improve safety conditions on the thoroughfare.

Senator Squadron said, “Each tragedy is a clarion call that we need more pedestrian safety improvements now.  Last year’s Department of Transportation improvements were a welcome step – but Delancey remains one of the most dangerous streets in this city.  I will continue to work with the community, DOT, NYPD, and my colleagues in government to make these dangerous intersections — and all of our streets — safe for pedestrians and all types of users”

“The dangerous conditions on Delancey cannot continue unabated,” said Council member Margaret Chin. “The number of accidents between pedestrians and motor vehicles on Delancey is unacceptable. The Lower East Side neighborhood is growing and attracting more foot traffic. We need to work with DOT, NYPD, experts and residents to develop solutions that are in line with the needs of the community, and most importantly, keep people safe.”

In May, after a pedestrian fatality at the intersection of Delancey and Essex Streets, Senator Squadron and Council member Chin joined Transportation Alternatives in calling on DOT to fix what has been named one of the deadliest intersections in the city. From 2008-2010, there were 523 motor vehicle accidents at the intersection of Delancey and Essex Streets, 134 of which involved pedestrians and cyclists, according to DOT records.

And here is the full text of the letter Chin and Squadron sent to the DOT:

Ms. Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner, Department of Transportation

Dear Commissioner Sadik-Khan,

We are writing to you today regarding the extremely dangerous situation on Delancey Street. In May, following a fatal accident at Delancey and Essex Street, we called on the DOT to take immediate action to fix what has been called “the deadliest intersection in New York.”

In the wake of yet another fatal accident last week, at Delancey and Chrystie Street, it is crucial that the DOT take action to fix the traffic conditions along this major thoroughfare. Delancey Street is the major arterial connection in the Lower East Side. These hazardous conditions cannot continue.

We know that the DOT plans to install pedestrian countdown signals along part of the Delancey Street corridor. We urge the DOT to begin this process immediately and to extend the pedestrian countdown signals at every intersection on Delancey.

In addition, we ask DOT to seriously consider ways to mitigate the danger for pedestrians along the whole of Delancey Street, from Bowery to the Williamsburg Bridge. We understand that for traffic changes on Delancey to be effective, and appropriate for the larger Lower East Side community, input from other stakeholders, including the NYPD, Community Board 3, and residents is necessary. We urge the DOT to work together with these community partners, as well as our offices, to make Delancey safer for pedestrians.

The fatalities on Delancey Street are mounting. As development at the Seward Park site moves forward, there will be more residential development and more foot traffic in this area. This matter requires the urgent attention and the full dedication of the DOT. We look forward to your response and to working with you to improve the safety of this vital roadway in our district.

Sincerely,
Margaret S. Chin New York City Council member District-1, Manhattan
Daniel Squadron State Senator 25th District