By Julie Shapiro
TRIBECA — Residents are renewing calls for more traffic controlling measures on Greenwich Street after several women were struck by a van there last Friday.
Witnesses said three women were walking west across Greenwich Street at Reade Street toward Washington Market Park when a van turning south on Greenwich blew through a stop sign and slammed into them, fire department officials said. The driver stayed at the scene but it was not immediately clear whether he was charged.
Two of the women, who were in their 30s and 40s, were taken to the hospital with head injuries, fire officials said. One of the victims was overheard screaming as paramedics lifted her.
Paulette Goto, 38, a TriBeCa mother who saw the accident, said the city should paint an east-west striped crosswalk on the T-shaped intersection, which pits cars forced to turn left because of a dead end at the park against cars speeding south because they have no light and no stop sign.
TriBeCa residents have long been concerned about cars speeding down Greenwich Street to make the light at Chambers Street, and they have previously advocated for a stop sign one block north of the crash at Greenwich and Duane streets.
"There needs to be better signage there," Goto said. "We're always crossing with our kids."
City Councilwoman Margaret Chin and Community Board 1 Chairwoman Julie Menin both reiterated their call for additional traffic control measures on the street this week.
"The recent accident only proves that something needs to be done to slow traffic along Greenwich," Chin said in an email. "We can’t wait until people get hurt to take action."
A Department of Transportation spokeswoman said the agency would start a study of the Greenwich and Reade intersection this spring, to see if it requires any changes. The department just studied the Greenwich and Duane intersection last fall and determined that it does not meet federal warrants for installing a stop sign.
Residents, though, said pedestrians need more protections along Greenwich Street, especially because of the growing population of young families.
The Reade Street crossing leads to an entrance to Washington Market Park, and elementary schools P.S. 234 and P.S. 150 are both nearby, so the street is often filled with parents pushing strollers.
Kerry Farrell, 47, who has lived in TriBeCa for 10 years, said she has long worried about her children and others crossing Greenwich Street at Duane Street to get to school.
"Pedestrians really have no rights down here at all," said Farrell, who came across last Friday's accident shortly after it happened and watched one of the women being loaded into an ambulance. "They're making it easier and easier for cars to come running through."
Farrell and many others residents also posted their concerns on the Tribeca Citizen blog after the accident.
Ashley Kirkham, 33, a TriBeCa resident who was pushing a stroller down Greenwich Street this week, was disturbed to hear about the crash.
"There should be a stop sign [at Duane Street]," Kirkham said. "People go really fast on Greenwich Street."