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Pedestrian killed in dangerous corridor where community board was opposing street redesign

141street-and-AmsterdamA pedestrian was killed by a hit and run driver in New York on Friday. 26 year old Erica Imbasciani was fatally pinned against a parked car by a speeding hit and run driver on 141st Street and Amsterdam on Friday night. The driver was caught by the police and identified as 27 year old Tyrik Cooper.  The police alleged the driver was on drugs and he was slapped with numerous charges including driving without a license, leaving the scene of an accident and vehicular manslaughter.  The young female pedestrian suffered massive head and body trauma. She was rushed to the hospital but didn’t survive.

Community Board  opposed Vision Zero  street safety redesign

The accident occurred in an area that had been targeted by Vision Zero for a safety street redesign as early as March 2017 that had been opposed by the community board. On March 2017, the DOT presented a proposal to the Community Board 9 to eliminate one through lane in both directions and add an unprotected bike lane as well as other traffic calming measures such as left turn treatments and pedestrian islands on Amsterdam Avenue between 113rd Street and 162nd Street. The street redesign was proposed after statistics indicated that the area was particularly prone to speeding and reckless driving. Four pedestrians were killed and 28 of them were injured on this street segment between 2010 and 2014. An additional 8 people were  also injured in bicycle accidents during the same time and in the same area.

The chair of the board refused to put the project up for a vote and insisted car lanes should come first and not safety on Amsterdam Avenue. 9 months after the first presentation, the DOT made a new watered down presentation to the CB9 but the vote was then delayed for 10 more months and a new presentation took place in October 2018.  Again the chairman opposed all measures saying “all it’s going to do is slow down traffic”. After the meeting, Street blog wrote ” CB9 refusal to accept the facts could wind up costing lives”.

Read more in Street Blog

Picture of the location of the accident courtesy of Google map