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Activists Push for Safety Improvements After Maspeth Crash

By Katie Honan | September 18, 2013 7:56am
 The victims were rushed to Elmhurst Hospital.
The victims were rushed to Elmhurst Hospital.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

MASPETH — A group of advocates is pushing for safety improvements in Queens after a crash left five students injured in Maspeth last week. 

The Transportation Alternatives Queens Activist Committee plans to be on Grand Avenue and 71st Street as students walk to school Wednesday morning to let the community know ways they can help improve traffic, one of the organizers said.

"Grand Avenue is one of the busiest streets in central Queens," said Peter Beadle, 42, who is a member of the activist committee.

"What we're hoping to do is make the community aware of what had just happened in their midst, but also empower them and call on them to let their elected officials know that they want Grand Avenue safer."

Five students were seriously hurt when a driver trying to park hopped the curb and smashed into them near their middle school last Thursday morning.

The driver of the Honda Pilot, Francis Lu, 40, was going shopping and was trying to pull into a space when he accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake, sources said.

He remained on the scene and was not expected to be charged, sources said.

Beadle said creating safer streets around Queens was important, especially after the accident. 

He suggested various "traffic calming" efforts that could be implemented, including installing speed bumps and raising the crosswalk.

"Our hope is to take this tragedy and use it as a lesson to help the community make their streets safer," he said.

The Transportation Alternatives Queens Activist Committee will be out Wednesday morning at Grand Ave. and 71st at 7:30 a.m. to hand out fliers and do outreach in the community.