The Need to Address Dangers of South Street Intersection in the Wake of Deadly Traffic Accident

Posted on: September 11th, 2014 at 5:09 am by

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Photo: TH

Now that the ribbon of East River Esplanade in the shadows of the Manhattan Bridge has been beautified and upgraded with new toys, the traffic situation in the immediate vicinity must be addressed. Indeed, it was only two weeks ago that a 34-year-old female driver struck three pedestrians – all older women – in the crosswalk at South Street and Rutgers Slip. One later died of her injuries, with the other two suffered “serious, but non-life threatening” trauma.

On the day of the accident, Congresswoman Margaret Chin called for a DOT safety review of this highly-trafficked intersection.

It’s not just the intersection, but the proximity of this major highway route to the parkspace itself. There should probably be better safety controls for denizens taking advantage of the amenities. The exercise equipment has become a de facto “playground” spot for children. In fact, on Monday evening, a toddler ran into the same intersection and averted a bloodbath thanks to a Good Samaritan. Many locals fear that a savior won’t be around next time.

Chin noted:

Recent renovations to the East River Esplanade, near the site of this accident, have had the positive impact of bringing many more residents out to enjoy the waterfront. But with that additional pedestrian flow must come heightened scrutiny of all access points leading into the Esplanade, including the intersection at South Street and Rutgers Slip. That’s why I’m calling on the Department of Transportation to conduct a full traffic safety review of this site and the surrounding intersections, to make sure we are doing all we can to keep our Lower East Side residents safe as they enter the Esplanade. I will soon be in contact with DOT to discuss conducting a safety review of these sites as soon as possible.

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