Electeds: New Delancey Street Safety Plan Big Step

Delancey Street working group leads to quick DOT action to improve dangerous corridor
Electeds: plan moves Delancey in right direction; work and community engagement must continue
February 8, 2012

New York – Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Councilmember Margaret Chin, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, and Councilmember Rosie Mendez welcomed the Department of Transportation’s new safety plan for Delancey Street, while urging continuation of the Delancey Street Working Group to improve the corridor.

Delancey Street has been the site of numerous accidents and is considered one of the most dangerous corridors in the City. Last month, 12-year-old Dashane Santana was killed while crossing Delancey at Clinton Street.

The elected officials have long called on DOT to make major safety improvements to the street. Last fall, they formed a Delancey Street Safety Working Group at Senator Squadron’s office that brought together DOT and community stakeholders and advocates, spurring DOT’s new plan.

The new DOT safety plan will include a number of improvements: widened sidewalks and shortened crosswalks at intersections along Delancey; changes to turning patterns; analysis and lengthening of traffic signals; and continued comprehensive review of the corridor.

DOT will present the new plan to the community tonight at 6:30PM at the Seward Park Community Room (264-268 East Broadway), at a special meeting of Community Board 3’s Transportation Committee. The community must now review the plan and reach consensus on the components that will be implemented. DOT expects work to take place in June 2012. The Delancey Street Safety Working Group will continue to meet to work on the new plan and ensure that further improvements are made.

“Because we worked together, Delancey will be dramatically safer within months, not years. Shorter crosswalks, revised traffic signals, and a plan to improve traffic flow throughout the corridor have the potential to improve Delancey for all who use it,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “Of course this is not the entire solution, and we must continue to study and improve Delancey and the surrounding streets to prevent future tragedies and ensure the safety of all users. DOT deserves great credit for recognizing the crisis on Delancey and working with us to quickly make these important changes.”

“This plan will help address the long-term safety needs of our community, so that tragedies like the death of Dashane Santana will not have been in vain,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. “These are important steps towards improving safety conditions for pedestrians on Delancey Street and throughout my community. I am encouraged that the DOT is looking to shorten crossing times, widen sidewalks and improve traffic patterns. Until these changes are implemented, I once again call on the DOT to post pedestrian managers to better help the flow of foot traffic across these dangerous intersections.”

"I want to thank the DOT for bringing forward a plan that can be swiftly and efficiently implemented to improve safety on Delancey Street," said Councilmember Margaret Chin. "This multipronged approach will address pedestrian safety, congestion, and traffic flow on the Delancey corridor. I urge the Community Board to review, comment, and support this plan to institute meaningful change on Delancey Street."

“For years, residents of the LES have been concerned about dangerous traffic conditions on Delancey Street," said Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. "The recommendations being put forth by DOT will make our neighborhood safer for pedestrians and drivers, alike.”

“Today, the Department of Transportation acknowledged what every Lower East Side resident already knows – Delancey Street is a nightmare for pedestrians and it requires dramatic change,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. “I applaud DOT for drafting these first steps to improve safety, and for outlining an aggressive timeline for implementation, pending community consultation. I look forward to hearing what neighborhood residents and businesses have to say about the plan. Outstanding questions remain, including the impact of the new proposals on crossing times, which should be lengthened as much as is practicable. I also believe new crossing guards or pedestrian safety managers should be placed at the most dangerous intersections along the corridor. Given the tragic history of this corridor, our paramount concern in redesigning Delancey Street must be safety. This proposal is a good start.”

“It’s good that DOT is coming forth with concrete steps the City is willing to take to try to prevent tragedies like Dashane Santana’s untimely death,” said Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh. “We will continue to work with the community and our colleagues in government to ensure that Delancey is as safe as we can make it, for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.”

“I am pleased DOT is moving quickly to enhance pedestrian safety for our constituents. The new changes demonstrate a continued commitment to making our streets safe for all,” said Councilmember Rosie Mendez.