Lots of people complain about things they’d like to see changed in their neighborhood, but not many of them actually do something about it. Lower East Side resident William Mojica is an exception. On Friday it may have been bitter cold, but he finally got a moment in the sun.
The city’s Transportation Commissioner, Polly Trottenberg, came out to help celebrate Mojica’s accomplishment — a new pedestrian island at the intersection of Pitt and Delancey streets. He got a big assist from State Sen. Daniel Squadron, who helped make the case that this stretch was especially dangerous for pedestrians and deserved the DOT’s attention. Among those also providing support: City Council member Margaret Chin, Community Board 3, Grand Street Settlement and the 7th Precinct. During brief remarks, Mojica made a point of listing a large number of neighborhood organizations (churches, schools, tenant associations,etc.) who signed on to his campaign.
In recent weeks, City Council member Margaret Chin has been urging the Transportation Department to make other safety improvements throughout her Lower Manhattan district. There have been several pedestrian fatalities, including the August 28 death of Shu Fan Huang, an elderly woman struck by a car on South Street at Rutgers Street. On Friday, Chin praised DOT for taking action. In the past month, the city has added new signage on the southbound exit of FDR Drive at Montgomery Street advising motorists of the new 25 mph speed limit. Chin reported that new countdown clocks and pedestrian signals would be installed on South Street at Market Slip, Pike Slip and on Cherry Street (at Pike).
Pedestrian safety is, of course, a priority of the de Blasio administration through its Vision Zero initiative.