On Saturday, Melissa joined Friends of Brook Park, South Bronx Unite and other concerned community members in marching on 138th Street and St Ann’s Avenue, demanding safer streets and protesting illegal truck traffic.
This comes in response to the hit-and-run that killed two pedestrians on Bruckner Boulevard, last Monday; marking the third recent fatal crash involving pedestrians and trucks in Mott Haven. Back in February, Melissa sent letters to the DOT and NYPD about her concerns on illegal oversize trucks, hoping to open up conversation about traffic enforcement. She will be following up with the respective agencies about these matters.
Each of these deadly crashes have taken place near or around 138th Street, which is a notoriously dangerous thoroughfare, known for the crowds, speeding trucks and lax traffic enforcement by the local 40th Precinct. Although 138th Street is designated as a “local truck route,” that implies that it should only be used for in-borough deliveries, the reality is that truck drivers take advantage of 138th Street and other neighborhood streets as a way to avoid Major Deegan Expressway traffic. As per the the most recent data available, in February 2013, the 40th Precinct issued 449 tickets for tinted windows and a mere 4 tickets for trucks that strayed from designated routes, which really highlights to lack of enforcement that needs to be addressed. Something needs to change.
In the wake of last week’s tragic accident that resulted in the death of a 6-year-old boy named Amar Diarrassouba, it is imperative that we address and correct the causes of this tragedy to ensure that an accident like this does not happen again in our district. Melissa, along with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and State Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, held a press conference outside of Diarrassouba’s school. They called on the DOT and NYPD to take a zero tolerance measure against large trucks on non-designated streets, such as the narrow, one-way residential East 117th Street towards First Avenue, where the accident occurred; and to address the possible need for additional crossing guards at busier intersections.
Following the press conference, Melissa wrote to Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan of the DOT and Commissioner Ray Kelly of the NYPD, to open up conversation about traffic enforcement and to make some requests. Please find the letters below. We will make sure to keep you updated on our further collaborative work with the DOT and NYPD on this matter.
This Saturday we will meet on East 138th Street & St. Ann’s Avenue in Mott Haven to rally for safer streets. Just last week, it was on the corner that we will meet that a 69 year old man, who lived around the corner, was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer in the middle of the afternoon. Please join us in remembering this Mott Haven resident and rallying for less truck traffic that proves time and time again to be bad for pedestrians and the Bronx.
WHO: Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, South Bronx Unite, Casa Atabex Ache, Community Connections for Youth, Friends of Brook Park, Heketi Community Charter School, Mothers on the Move, Transportation Alternatives, and United Federation of Taino People
WHAT: Safe Streets in South Bronx Rally
WHEN: Saturday, December 22, 2012 – 12 PM to 1:30 PM
WHERE: East 138th Street and St. Ann’s Avenue
For more information, connect South Bronx Unite at 646.648.4362