News

L.I.C. Community Leaders Call For Safety Improvements After Fatal Crash

Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer with Community Board No. 2 Chairman Joe Conley pushing for safety improvements in Long Island City - March 14, 2013 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer with Community Board No. 2 Chairman Joe Conley pushing for safety improvements in Long Island City – March 14, 2013 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - In the wake of a curb-hopping crash that took the life of a teenager, locals are calling for studies and action on what they say are the dangerous roads around high schools and LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens.

On Monday, a minivan jumped a curb on Thomson Avenue near 30th Street and 16-year-old Drudak Tenzin was killed.

The crash may have involved a distracted and uninsured motorist, but Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer says it highlights long-held safety complaints.

“This is a ticking time bomb,” he said Thursday. “The amount of cars that blow red lights in an attempt to make it to the [Ed Koch Queensboro] Bridge or make it to Queens Boulevard or make it to the tunnel is staggering.”

Joe Conley, the chairman of Community Board No. 2, said Thomson Avenue and surrounding streets do not get the attention of the notorious Queens Boulevard.

“We’re shamefully just four blocks away from the ‘boulevard of death’ and they put a lot of emphasis on creating traffic calming measures, and those measures were not extended to this area,” he said.

Conley, standing amid broken car parts at a sidewalk memorial, said safety concerns have been voiced there for years.

They want stepped up enforcement, but also design and other improvements, such as additional barriers between the sidewalk and street.

LaGuardia Communtiy College student government president Shah Amanat that a petition with nearly 500 signatures was submitted to the New York City Department of Transportation.

“We cannot risk our lives to come into school,” he said.

What do you think should be done, if anything, to improve safety? Please share your ideas below.