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Silver Urges Delancey Street Safety Improvements

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Friday, Delancey Street.

On Friday, 12-year old Dashane Santana was killed by the driver of a minivan on Delancey Street. Today State Assembly Sheldon Silver is out with a letter he wrote to Transportation Department Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan:

I am writing to you once again in the wake of a tragic death on Delancey Street. The recent accident which took the life of 1 2-year-old Dashane Santana is yet another reminder that we must act immediately to improve safety conditions for pedestrians at several dangerous intersections on Delancey Street.  As I suggested several months ago, on the heels of a report detailing the large number of vehicle accidents on Delancey, the Department of Transportation (DOT) should undertake a comprehensive safety study and recommend improvements that would enhance protections for pedestrians at several intersections. In the meantime, there are several measures that could be implemented right away for the benefit of my Lower East Side community. I am asking that the DOT post pedestrian managers at the most dangerous intersections of Delancey, including Clinton Street, where this latest accident occurred. With traffic coming on and off the Williamsburg Bridge and a wide area for pedestrians to cross, there is an urgent need for a more aggressive approach to safety. At the very least, managers should be required during school hours and other peak periods. This arrangement was implemented on West Street following community concerns and it has been quite successful. In addition to pedestrian managers, I ask that the green light for pedestrians be extended so that people have more time to safely cross. We simply cannot wait for another tragedy to occur. Delancey crossings must be made safer for all those who use the streets, and special care must be taken for children and seniors. If you would like to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to contact me.


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  1. 1. The signal time is too short.  Residents have to run in order to make it across safely before the light changes.
    2. Ticket speeding drivers.  Cars don’t observe the speed limit on Delancey.
    3. DOT should create a protected, separate median strip for pedestrians and cyclists that runs from the bridge at least to Allen St. Simple as that.

  2. By managers do they mean the guys who are too busy waving cars though and talking on their cell phones to pay attention to people crossing the street?

  3. I get more and more furious every time I read a story like this. I cross Clinton at the same spot everyday and am always scared for my life regardless of whether the crossing guard is waving me along or the walk signal is on. Drivers coming off that bridge drive too fast and have too many blind spots. Not to mention the walk light literally lasts about 5 seconds when it’s just as busy for pedestrians as it is for vehicles. How many more deaths will it take for the DOT to do something aobut this?

  4. Nothing fancy (like a long drawn-out study) is needed in the short-term.  Just a simple, obvious solution stated by ‘guest’ ,and countless others, that the signal be lengthened to provide enough time for a human being to cross the street w/o being killed! How incredibly stupid can the DOT be????

  5. With all the talk of a low line, maybe they could make an underpass for pedestrians. Prob the subway is in the way.

  6. I wrote to Sheldon Silver last year detailing the speeding, the running red lights, the inattention of the traffic cops — standing on corners with their cell phones. I did not receive a response. Drivers simple treat the bridge and Delancey street as a highway with highway speeds. Pedestrians have no chance there. This is a city where people live, not an expressway. Should cars be more important than people? Yes, lenghten the lights, arrest speeders and red-light runners — and while we’re at it, make the bikers accountable too.

  7. The problems at Delancey and Clinton, as discussed, are the (1) short timing of the light, (2) the traffic cop who does more to keep traffic moving (including through red lights), (3) the bicyclists coming off the Williamsburg bridge, so that by the time the pedestrian runs to the middle section, he or she has to immediately watch for cyclists coming down at 25mph, (4) and the startup time that cars get by the timing of the lights is that by the time they get to Clinton, they’ve had a 3 or 4 green light head start.

    At the end of the Manhattan bridge on the Brooklyn side, they added barriers for bicycles to force them to slow down as they round the blind corner. Before those barriers went up, it looked like an accident waiting to happen, with a cyclist accidentally veering a bit too wide and getting clipped by a car coming around the blind corner.

    1. Longer crossing time for pedestrians — so they can get all the way across
    2. Traffic cop to be held accountable to pedestrian crossing.
    3. Barriers for bicycles prior to the entrance to the pedestrian ‘waiting’ spot 
    4. Lights to be staggered to prevent speeding up to Clinton

    Clinton and Delancey has to take all of these issues into account; all are do-able immediately, as others have suggested; this is not a red-tape issue.

  8. The entire foot of the bridge is a poor design, both for pedestrians crossing 8 lanes of traffic and for bicycles coming on and off the bridge. Longer lights would help, but the entire setup need to be re-thought, as Carol says,  it’s not made for humans, it’s made for cars.  It needs traffic calming measures, shortened crossing areas, and a separate way for bikes to get on and off the bridge. It makes no sense for bikes and pedestrians to share the limited space on that traffic island, especially with the bottleneck now created by those ridiculous concrete barriers. If you have 5 people and three bikes, it’s single file onto the “safety zone”, and as soon as the light turns green there its a drag race to the bridge. A recipe for disaster, as we’ve already tragically seen

  9. This intersection is extremely dangerous. I avoid it whenever possible. How hard would it be to build a footbridge over Delancey Street?

  10. I agree 100% with Carol, way too dangerous, to the point that is better to go another way rather than try to outrun the speeding cars coming off the bridge or trying to run the red light to get to the bridge. How many lives will it take to do something about it?

  11. we told them for years and they didnt do nonthing to a child was killed our politicans suck here until something happens 

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