Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and bike and pedestrian safety advocate Scott Vaccaro called for safety measures to prevent pedestrian accidents after a six year old boy was killed while walking to school last week. The child was struck by a tractor-trailer last Thursday morning at East 117th Street and First Avenue. He was walking with his older brother to PS 155.
The crossing guard assigned to that intersection was not present when the accident occurred and sources told CBS News that the woman never showed up for work, even though she had called in to report that she was on the job. She was suspended without pay for 30 days. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office is investigating possible criminal charges.
The truck driver was issued a citation for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Safety advocate Steve Vaccaro issued a statement saying that the intersection where the boy was killed would have been safer had there been pedestrian islands, islands that would go along with a proposed bike lane on First Avenue.
He said, “Certainly a 6-year-old will be more visible to a trucker who’s high up in a cab if pedestrians are standing up on that island,” he said. “Maybe [the] trucker would have felt the curb before hitting this poor boy.”
Area businesses have objected to the proposed traffic calming measures around this intersection. However, they are due to be implemented in the next few months.
Sources: CBS Local, “Stringer Calling For New Pedestrian Safety Measures In Wake Of East Harlem Boy’s Death,” Mar. 4, 2013; NYPost, “9-year-old brother, lack of pedestrian islands may have contributed to death of Harlem boy run down on way to school,” Mar. 3, 2013.