UPPER WEST SIDE — More than 100 family members, neighbors and community leaders gathered to demand safer streets for pedestrians at a neighborhood intersection where former New York Times graphic artist Jean Chambers was fatally struck and dragged several feet by an SUV last week.
Chambers, 61 — who was hit just two blocks away 9-year-old Cooper Stock was killed by a driver who failed to yield — died crossing West End Avenue on July 10 when a 2004 Ford Explorer making a left turn from 95th Street struck Chambers and then dragged her about 30 yards.
“Because of our strong sense of community, you have come out tonight to remember Jean, not as a victim of an accident, but as your loving neighbor,” her husband, John Chambers, told the crowd, standing next to their 18-year-old daughter, Maria.
"You have also come to voice your support for measures that can prevent more pedestrian accidents."
People gathered lit candles, some wiping away tears while he spoke.
The latest traffic fatality spurred the Department of Transportation to consider additional changes at the intersection.
Plans were already in place to improve safety for school children that attend P.S. 75 at West End and West 95th Street.
Starting Tuesday cars heading east on 95th Street from Riverside Drive were no longer able to make a left turn northbound onto West End Avenue between 7 and 9 a.m. weekdays.
The DOT was also considering allowing pedestrians more time to cross the intersection and adding another speed bump on West End Avenue in front of P.S. 75
“When it happened a first time it was a tragedy and we were sad, but this is an epidemic,” City Council Member Helen Rosenthal said during the vigil.
Rosenthal said she is working with the DOT to redesign West End Avenue to include more signage, traffic signal patterns and educating drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
Chambers was remembered as a loving mother, artist and involved community member.
“She was the center of my life for 31 years,” Chambers said.