A traffic conditions study and changing of the conditions on Grand Avenue around 69th Street has been a top capital budget priority of the local community board for a decade following a bunch of fatal incidents. More recently Councilwoman Crowley asked the Department of Transportation to perform a study of Grand Avenue after a van veered off the street and injured five school children just up the road on 71st Street near I.S. 73 two months ago.
Senator Mike Gianaris introduced legislation that would make driving in New York without a license a felony and Assemblywoman Marge Markey announced this week that she is introducing legislation to make driving without a license a felony that would have a four year sentence tied to it.
Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, said the legislation is long overdue.
“These are not isolated incidents, these are not accidents, these are preventable tragedies,” White said. “We can prevent this, we can put an end to these tragedies with this legislation that will finally let the punishment fit the crime of driving with a suspended license and mowing down innocent New Yorkers.”
Community advocate Dmytro Fedkowskyj met with members of the I.S. 73 PTA and P.S. 58 at the site of the accident this morning – Tuesday, January 28, to put out an additional call for traffic calming measures on the block.
“Nothing will change unless physical change takes place at this intersection,”Fedkowskyj said.
Fedkowskyj was at the scene immediately after a January 19th deadly incident. Angela Hurtado was struck and killed by a car driven by an unlicensed driver making an illegal left turn onto Grand Avenue from 69th Place. Fedkowskyj was the Queens appointee to the Parents for Education Policy in NYC. He lives in Middle Village. He says he has some unique ideas on how to change things for traffic and pedestrian safety in Maspeth.