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City to Unveil Delancey Street Safety Plan After Dashane Santana's Death

By Julie Shapiro | February 8, 2012 6:40am
Dashane Santana, 12, was struck by a car and killed on Delancey Street Fri., Jan. 13, 2012.
Dashane Santana, 12, was struck by a car and killed on Delancey Street Fri., Jan. 13, 2012.
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LOWER EAST SIDE — The city will unveil a pedestrian safety plan for Delancey Street Wednesday night, nearly a month after 12-year-old Dashane Santana was killed while crossing the busy intersection at the entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge.

The Department of Transportation plans to present its proposal to a special meeting of Community Board 3 on Wednesday in response to residents' continued concerns that Delancey Street is unsafe.

While the plan has not been made public, several people who attended meetings with the DOT expect the agency to announce small, easy-to-implement changes like longer walk signals and larger pedestrian medians, rather than a major capital project like a pedestrian overpass.

New Delancey Street Crossing Time
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Billy Figueroa

State Sen. Daniel Squadron, who has hosted three meetings about Delancey Street with the DOT and community stakeholders, said other ideas that were raised include narrowing Delancey Street and restricting turns.

"No single fix is going to be the entire solution," Squadron told DNAinfo Wednesday.

"Delancey Street and the surrounding blocks are going to need comprehensive analysis and reworking. [But] in the interim, it is certainly possible to make Delancey Street safer and avoid the sorts of tragedies we have seen all too regularly."

Shortly after Santana was killed last month, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver wrote a letter to DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan asking for crossing guards and longer walk signals on Delancey Street.

He has yet to receive a response.

Last year, DOT made other safety improvements on Delancey Street, including installing countdown walk signals.

Santana, a talented singer and dancer who lived in the East Village's Jacob Riis II Houses, was killed Jan. 13 as she crossed Delancey Street at Clinton Street.

Pedestrians have just 22 seconds to cross Delancey's 10 lanes of traffic there, one of the shortest crossing times in the city for a major intersection.

Delancey Street is also one of the most dangerous places in Manhattan for children to cross the street or ride a bike, according to Transportation Alternatives.

The DOT will present its plan for Delancey Street safety improvements to Community Board 3 Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m., at the Seward Park Community Room, 264-268 East Broadway.