On Sunday, December 29th, 32-year-old Nicole Detweilwer was killed while crossing McGuinness Boulevard at Nassau Avenue when she was struck by a car and then a box truck. The truck’s driver, 35-year old Roberto Amador, was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.
Hoping to avoid yet another tragedy on the notoriously dangerous roadway, Councilmember Steve Levin sent a letter to Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, this week, requesting that the agency address the issue in a variety of ways, including the installation of speed cameras from a recently approved pilot program, a neighborhood slow zone, left hand turn signals, countdown clocks at crosswalks and other traffic calming elements that will help prevent future crashes.
“As you know, the speed limit on McGuinness Boulevard is 30 miles per hour, but as found in a 2012 study by the Transportation Alternatives McGuinness Boulevard Working Group, 66.25% of all motorists exceed the speed limit while driving on this street,” Levin wrote. “The combination of rampant speeding and pedestrian crossings is a recipe for danger.”
For more than five years, Assemblyman Joe Lentol has pushed the City for years to install traffic calming measures along McGuinness Boulevard, especially at the Nassau Avenue intersection. After this latest tragedy Lentol called upon Mayor de Blasio to focus on this safety issue.
“Another heartbreaking accident at this deadly intersection calls for swift action in the New Year under the new mayoral administration to install red light cameras, speed cameras, and new traffic calming measures,” the Assemblyman said. “I pledge to make this a top priority.”
Last year, Lentol voted to approve new locations for speed cameras in school zones, and has pushed for McGuinness Boulevard by PS 34 to be first on the list to get one.
In his letter to DOT, Levin also demanded the installation of speed cameras around PS 34, as well as the implementation of a neighborhood slow zone in the area surrounding the school, left-hand turn signals, countdown clocks at crosswalks and other traffic calming elements to help prevent future crashes.
“Residents should be able to walk without putting their lives in danger by simply crossing the street,” Lentol said. “People here aren’t afraid of getting mugged – they’re afraid of getting hit. It’s a real fear. It’s a valid fear. Sadly, that is how serious the problem has become at the intersections along McGuinness Boulevard.”