LOWER EAST SIDE — A street renaming honoring a Lower East Side girl who was tragically struck and killed while crossing Delancey Street earlier this year earned unanimous support from a local community board committee Wednesday night.
Community Board 3's transportation committee approved the co-naming of Delancey Street at Clinton Street, where 12-year-old Dashane Santana was hit by a minivan in January while crossing 10 lanes of traffic.
Her grandmother, Teresa Pedroza, rallied local residents by gathering hundreds of signatures on a petition supporting the co-naming.
"The terrible accident really galvanized attention to the problem that Delancey Street is unsafe," said David Crane, the committee's chairman, after the meeting.
The committee's resolution of support for the co-naming will likely be approved by CB3's full board on June 26 before heading to the City Council, where it will be voted on as a single bill with other street memorials, Crane said.
The honorary street sign would be affixed below the Delancey Street sign on the north end of the thoroughfare at Clinton Street, though the sign's official wording has not yet been determined, according to Crane.
Pedroza first approached the committee with the idea last month but at that time had failed to gather the 300 signatures required from residents surrounding the intersection. This time, however, she far surpassed the necessary amount.
"It was amazing the signatures on the petition," said Crane, who called Pedroza a very "with-it" grandmother. He didn't have a final tally of signatures, but said it went well past what was needed.
Pedroza herself could not be reached for comment.
The petition is used to ensure that street co-namings are a community effort, Crane said.
"When [a street co-naming] was new, there were a lot of them happening that went for a purpose that wasn't necessarily notable,” he said.
Community Board 3's guidelines for co-naming streets require prospective honorees to have a minimum of 15 years community involvement to be eligible. Exceptions include individuals who die under circumstances such as an accident.
The nature of the incident, overwhelming community support and Dashane's talent — she was a singer, dancer and a Juilliard School hopeful — ensured the memorial made sense, Crane explained.
The girl's tragic death increased calls by advocates to improve safety on busy Delancey Street, following a string of deaths on the broad thoroughfare.
On Wednesday, the Department of Transportation began promised improvements to the strip, according to the Lo-Down. The plan, which has been delayed due to rain, involves increasing crosswalk times and adding a new pedestrian plaza between Clinton and Norfolk streets.
Between 2006 and 2010, 129 pedestrians, cyclists or motor vehicle occupants were injured at Delancey and Essex streets, DOT officials said. The same number were injured at Delancey and Clinton streets.
Nine people have been killed along Delancey Street since 2006.