On Feb.6, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer requested during a press conference that Northern Boulevard be included in Mayor Bill de Blasio's safer streets initiative called Vision Zero. “It is no secret that Northern Boulevard is one of the City’s most dangerous roadways,” said Council Member Van Bramer. “Thousands of pedestrians cross this busy thoroughfare every single day. Residents who live along Northern Boulevard should never fear being killed or seriously injured in their own neighborhoods. In the last several years too many pedestrians’ lives have been claimed by crashes that could have been prevented. As the Administration’s interagency working group continues to identify the City’s most hazardous thoroughfares I ask that they give Northern Boulevard consideration in an effort to put an end to the carnage that has occurred here on the boulevard. I look forward to working with the Administration to make Vision Zero a reality in our City.”
The press conference took place between the intersection of 48th Street and Northern Boulevard in Woodside, in which the most recent car accident there seriously injured five pedestrians, including a 7-year-old girl. Back in December 2013, another tragic accident along Northern Boulevard caused the death of 8-year-old Noshat Nahian.
Back in January, Mayor de Blasio launched an interagency working group in order to create a comprehensive plan towards improving road safety in NYC by February 15. In an effort to bring attention to the dangers pedestrians face along Northern Boulevard, Council Member Van Bramer in turn developed a list of locations in which a significant number of traffic fatalities had occurred over the years.
The following is that list of problematic locations along Northern Boulevard:
o Northern Boulevard between 61st Street and 62nd Street where 8-year-old Noshat Nahian was killed on 12/20/13
o Northern Boulevard at the intersection of 54th Street and Broadway
o Northern Boulevard, 51st Street and Newtown Road
o Northern Boulevard and 48th Street, where a car plowed into and seriously injured five pedestrians, including a 7-year-old girl.
o Northern Boulevard, Steinway, and 39th Street
“Since we started two months ago, Make Queens Safer has witnessed countless acts of traffic violence across our Borough, and have heard from a community that has tolerated it for far too long,” said Cristina Furlong of Make Queens Safer. “With strong community support, Council Member Van Bramer has been tireless in supporting Safe Streets for our seniors, our children and our neighbors. Queens could be considered Ground Zero for the Vision Zero movement. Northern Blvd. is one of the most dangerous corridors in Queens, and needs new enforcement measures and a redesign and to improve pedestrian safety. We are grateful for Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer's ongoing leadership on street safety in Queens, and hope that the Administration will make these areas a priority."
Back in 2013, according to recent reports, 286 people died in New York City due to traffic accidents and nearly 55,000 were injured. Queens had the greatest number of traffic deaths, with 93 people killed, including 52 pedestrians.
And finally in other news Council Member Van Bramer, along with students of the Academy for American Studies, celebrated the official opening of the high school's new computer lab. Council Member Van Bramer allocated nearly $335,000 towards building the new lab, as well as providing smart boards for the classrooms and software updates for the students. Over 800 students will now be able to take advantage of the new lab for courses in playwriting, journalism, English, and digital imaging.