Following the death of Jorge Rios in a motorcycle accident on Manhattan Avenue last Sunday, Councilmember Steve Levin is calling for visibility and safety improvements on neighborhood streets.
In a strongly-worded letter to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) new commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Levin asked for a full review of the traffic situation on Manhattan Avenue. In it Levin requests that Trottenberg take into consideration the prospect of making several engineering improvements along the Avenue that would make the busy street safer for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles alike.
“I have major concerns about visibility and safety on Manhattan Avenue and believe that the implementation of engineering improvements, be it more traffic signals, daylighting of intersections or other such solutions would make this highly-trafficked street safer for everyone who uses it,” Levin wrote.
On Sunday afternoon, Rios was reported to have borrowed his friend’s motorbike to take a ride and to have lost control of it at the intersection of Manhattan Avenue and Green Street, where he crashed into an oncoming car.
He was taken to Bellevue Hospital, but doctors were unable to save him.
At Wednesday night’s Community Board 1 meeting, a number of residents echoed Levin’s traffic concerns to Brooklyn Borough DOT Commissioner Joseph Palmieri, who was at the meeting to discuss local traffic concerns.
“We’re trying our very best to slow down traffic in the area,” Palmieri said. “We are looking into installing slow zones along McGuinness Boulevard.”
Rios’ death Sunday is eerily similar to that of 18-year-old Greenpoint resident who lost his life in a motorcycle accident at the intersection of Manhattan Avenue and Eagle Street last summer.
North Brooklyn has been riddled with traffic-related fatalities in the last few months, most recently the death of 21-year-old Marisol Martinez, who was struck by a bus last week, as she was returning home at night. Following that accident, Councilmembers Levin and Antonio Reynoso requested that Mayor Bill de Blasio make North Brooklyn a top priority in his Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic fatalities in the City.