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Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Jackson Heights, NY — Yesterday, over 150 Jackson Heights residents gathered for Council Member Dromm’s pedestrian safety town hall at the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights, filling every seat and leaving almost no standing-room for latecomers.

Dromm hosted the event in the wake of the tragic death of local resident Henry Boimel, who was hit by an Uber driver last week. The town hall was co-sponsored by Congressman Joseph Crowley, State Senator Jose Peralta, Assembly Member Francisco Maya, and Assembly Member Michael DenDekker.

Afters brief presentations from Dromm and local elected officials, residents were given the opportunity to voice their concerns to and dialogue with guest speakers, including 115th Precinct Executive Officer Nicola Ventre, NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) Deputy Queens Borough Commissioner Jason Barney, NYC DOT Queens Borough Planner Vikram Sinha, Transportation Alternatives Legislative and Legal Director Marco Conner, and Executive Assistant District Attorney Daniel A. Saunders and Deputy Borough Chief John W. Kosinski from Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown’s office.

“Jackson Heights is a safer place thanks to the slow zone, traffic calming measures and green space I have fought for and secured, but there is more work to be done,” said NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst.) “Henry Boimel’s tragic death reminds us of the need for increased law enforcement and additional safety measures. I was pleased to bring local elected officials, the NYPD, the DOT, transportation experts and residents together for what was a healthy discussion on these issues that affect us all. I will continue to work with community stakeholders to make our streets safer.”

“Anytime we lose a member of our community to the hazardous conditions on our roads, we are reminded of the work that remains to improve pedestrian safety throughout our neighborhoods,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx). “I thank Council Member Dromm for bringing together our local elected officials, our city’s agencies, and advocates to hear from community members and get their input on finding solutions that will help prevent future fatalities. As New Yorkers, we do more walking than anyone else in the country and we deserve to walk the streets of our neighborhoods without the fear of being struck by a vehicle.”

“Jackson Heights is more congested than it has ever been, both in terms of streets and foot traffic,” said Assembly Member Francisco P. Moya (D-Corona). “Safety precautions have failed to scale with this dramatic increase, and lives are at risk daily as a result. It is immediately clear to anyone walking down these streets that drivers are reckless and, to make matters worse, their vision is constantly obstructed by double-parked trucks and poorly displayed traffic signage. The Pedestrian Safety Town Hall hosted by my good friend Council Member Daniel Dromm offers my colleagues and I the opportunity to discuss with people most affected what steps we must take to make our streets safer and I look forward to working together as a community.”

“I am so glad to join this forum, and discuss the measures we can continue to take to make this city safer for pedestrians,” said Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (D-East Elmhurst). “As many have said, we need to invest in speed cameras, and ensure they are installed in every school zone in the city. This cannot, however, be our only step. I have introduced a bill requiring that school crossing guards be placed on each corner of streets adjacent to public and private schools serving grades K-8 in New York City, because nothing helps keep students safe more than an adult helping them cross the street. I have also introduced legislation that would prohibit a traffic-control signal from displaying a green light for traffic while pedestrians are walking in any direction. This greatly reduces the risk of pedestrians being struck by turning cars, because cars would be unable to move while pedestrians are crossing. I believe that a comprehensive reform plan that includes all of these measures, along with an education campaign, would greatly reduce pedestrian deaths in New York City, and that is a goal on which we can all agree.”

Photo caption – left to right: Queens Borough Deputy Commissioner Jason Banrey, Transportation Alternatives Legislative and Legal Director Marco Conner, Charlotte Martin (representing Congressman Joseph Crowley), Council Member Daniel Dromm, 115th Precinct Executive Officer Nicola Ventre and Assembly Member Michael DenDekker address a standing-room only audience at the Pedestrian Safety Town Hall inside the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights, Queens.

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