The New York City Department of Transportation has pledged to make improvements to a Queens intersection that has seen numerous violent and even deadly car crashes in recent weeks. As the Queens Daily Eagle reported, the intersection of Cooper Avenue and Cypress Avenue in Glendale, Queens was the site of a February incident in which a man, 57, was hit by the drivers of two vehicles and reportedly died of his injuries. In a separate incident, two teenagers riding a moped hit a car, after which they were rushed to the hospital. City data shows a total of 153 accidents at the intersection between January 2014 and December 2021. In a February press conference about planned safety redesigns, DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said, “Help is on the way.”
The deadly incident occurred on February 12th, according to the Queens Daily Eagle and a report by Streetsblog. The man was reportedly crossing Cypress Avenue when the driver of an SUV “clipped” him, causing him to fall to the pavement, after which the driver of another SUV ran over him, “running over his head with his front left tire and then crushing the man’s entire body with his rear wheels.” First responders took him to a nearby hospital, where he reportedly died.
Streetsblog describes the intersection as “a known danger zone for pedestrians” in which drivers turning left onto Cypress Avenue “frequently” cause accidents. City officials are planning a variety of improvements to the intersection, including signal improvements, heightened enforcement for failure to yield, and a “turn-calming program,” according to the Queens Daily Eagle. “can start with some of them that are easier to do, like related to the signal; that’s something that we can control and can happen faster,” DOT Commissioner Rodriguez said in a press conference, per Streetsblog. “There’s other things that will take more time, but I can say that help is on the way.”
In a statement at the press conference, New York Assembly Member Jenifer Rajkumar condemned failures to make streets safer and voiced her support for state legislation that would improve safety conditions. “This is traffic violence… Traffic violence is when we know about the dangers of a roadway and we do nothing about it. That’s violence against the community and it has to stop,” she said.”