Delancey Street’s Dangers on the Public Agenda

Delancey Street at Clinton Street on Jan. 13, in the hours after Dashane Santana was struck and killed by a minivan.

As Dashane Santana‘s family and friends mourn the 12-year-old at her funeral today, talk of how to prevent more tragedies is turning up on several public agendas for next month.

On Feb. 8, the Department of Transportation will present its Delancey Street Safety Plan at a meeting in the Seward Park Co-op’s community room at 268 E. Broadway at 6:30 p.m. This report is coming out of state Sen. Daniel Squadron’s Delancey Street Working Group.

At last night’s Community Board 3 meeting, there was widespread agreement among board members to push for a change in the way traffic enforcement works on Delancey Street. Currently, officers stationed at the busy intersections leading up to the Williamsburg Bridge prioritize the movement of vehicular traffic to and from the bridge, often waving cars through yellow and red lights even though pedestrians are waiting to cross on walk lights.

The working group was formed last fall, long before a minivan struck Dashane Jan. 13 as she crossed Delancey on her way home from middle school, so it’s unclear what impact her death with have on its recommendations. CB3 transportation committee chair David Crane says that it’s clearly time to put pedestrian safety personnel on the street. Such “pedestrian specialists” are now on the job on West Street, where they have apparently been very successful. Crane also said he’d like to see the DOT begin a comprehensive traffic study along Delancey Street, maybe as far over as the Bowery. it’s expensive and in the past DOT has said there’s no funding.

On Feb. 15, Delancey Street’s traffic will be the subject of two different meetings. Community Board 3’s land use committee will review a traffic analysis summary as part of a draft environmental impact study coming out of the plans for the Seward Park Urban Redevelopment Area (SPURA). That takes place at 6:30 p.m. at University Settlement, 184 Eldridge St. The same night, CB3’s transportation committee is scheduled to consider a proposal to ban left turns at the Essex and Delancey intersection between 4 and 7 p.m.