By Christopher Robbins
In the wake of last week's fatal cycling accident on Delancey Street, State Senator Daniel Squadron and City Council member Margaret Chin released a statement today urging the the DOT to address the safety nightmare for pedestrians and cyclists that Delancey has become. "Each tragedy is a clarion call that we need more pedestrian safety improvements now," Squadron says. Noting that the perilous conditions on Delancey cannot remain so, Chin calls the number of accidents along the thoroughfare "unacceptable."
Earlier this month, it was reported that pedestrians and cyclists were involved in 134 out of the 523 accidents just the intersection of Essex and Delancey between 1998 and 2010, 3 of them fatal. A cyclist has been killed on Delancey every year for the past three years. State Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver wrote to the DOT several weeks ago, asking the agency "to undertake a comprehensive safety study and recommend improvements that would help pedestrians." Last month, after the 7th Precinct and CB 3 implored the DOT to improve safety along Delancey, the DOT told the Lo-Down that "there are no plans to make changes to the roadway width." Countdown clocks were supposed to be installed at Delancey, but they have yet to materialize.
Chin notes that given the population and commercial expansion in the Lower East Side, the problems are likely to persist unless the DOT intervenes: "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."