LOWER EAST SIDE — The grandmother of a Lower East Side child who was struck and killed while crossing Delancey Street earlier this year has proposed that an intersection be named in her granddaughter's memory.
On January 13, a mini-van fatally struck 12-year-old Dashane Santana at Delancey and Clinton streets, where 10 lanes of traffic run in both directions.
Her grandmother, Teresa Pedroza, proposed to the transportation committee of Community Board 3 Wednesday night that the section of road where Dashane was killed be co-named for her.
"We would like to honor her by co-naming the north side of Delancey Street in her honor so people know that this should not happen again," said Pedroza, 53, as she addressed the committee with tears in her eyes.
"I am trying to keep her name and let everybody know this is a dangerous intersection," she said.
Pedroza, who was the only family member present at the committee meeting, said she has already collected 150 signatures from local residents and businesses in support of the co-naming. She is also involved in another petition to bring a crossing guard at the intersection.
But after Pedroza presented her request, a number of board members expressed concern that too many streets were being co-named.
"I feel like street co-naming's come up very often," said MyPhuong Chung, 33, a Chinatown resident who has been on the board for more than a year.
Just days ago, a section of Forsyth Street was co-named after longtime Community Board 3 member Harry Wieder, a well-known activist who was killed in a traffic accident in 2010.
Chung suggested the pedestrian plaza, to be installed in July along the south side of Delancey Street between Norfolk and Clinton streets, be named after Dashane instead of the intersection.
"It could be appropriate because I think this was for many people the final straw," Chung said.
Between 2006 and 2010, 129 pedestrians, cyclists or motor vehicle occupants were injured at Delancey and Essex streets, the DOT said. The same number was injured at Delancey and Clinton streets.
Nine people have been killed along Delancey Street since 2006, including Dashane, a CASTLE Middle School student who was a talented singer and dancer, and had just applied to the Juilliard School.
In Community Board 3's guidelines for co-naming streets, prospective honorees need a minimum of 15 years community involvement to be eligible.
Exceptions include individuals who die under circumstances such as an accident, which committee chair David Crane acknowledged would qualify the girl.
"This one is of a different nature. This was a needless death of a child," he said. "Our guidelines didn’t foresee this."
Crane requested that Pedroza return to the committee after securing at least 300 signatures from residents directly surrounding the intersection.
"All the co-names we have done in the last few years have done that," Crane added.
The committee will ultimately vote on whether or not to recommend the co-naming to the full board, before it goes to City Council for final approval, he said.
At the time of the accident, pedestrians had just 22 seconds to cross 10 lanes of traffic that fed on and off the Williamsburg Bridge. After Santana's death, the Department of Transportation added eight seconds to the crosswalk.
After the meeting, Pedroza said she was hopeful she would secure the intersection in memory of her granddaughter.
"Yes, I am going to knock on every door," she said.