BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The busy corridor bordering Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant is home to many dangerous intersections, according to residents.
A mix of angled streets and confusing crosswalks line the stretch of Broadway from Fulton Street to Flushing Avenue, creating risky traffic conditions, some locals said.
“It’s a big issue,” said Brooklyn resident Genease Jerido.
“The way the streets all turn into each other, I’m scared to cross just here,” she said, referencing the junction of Broadway and Lafayette Avenue, just yards from where a woman was fatally struck Tuesday.
Lakiesha Ramsey, 37, was hit by a delivery truck as she was pushing her laundry cart through a crosswalk at Lafayette and Patchen avenues, officials said.
The driver was travelling eastbound on Lafayette and made a left turn on Patchen when he struck her, according to police.
He remained on scene and no charges were filed as of Thursday, officials said.
Following Ramsey’s death, the 81st Precinct’s commanding officer expressed the need for increased safety measures along Broadway.
“We’ll have to do some enforcement down there, making sure that motorists are aware of pedestrians to yield to,” Deputy Inspector Scott Henderson said at a Tuesday night meeting.
The commercial thoroughfare has been on the precinct’s radar for several months, with police issuing summonses to drivers and handing out safety literature to pedestrians, Henderson said at a previous gathering in September.
This week's incident marks the third traffic-related fatality along the corridor this year, according to the commanding officer.
Three women were hit within an 11-block radius on Broadway in the span of four months.
“That’s just too many in one area,” Henderson said.
In July, 46-year-old Alberta Bagu died in a hit-and-run at the intersection of Broadway between Ditmars Street and Willoughby Avenue.
A month later, an 82-year-old woman was struck and killed by a dump truck on Gates Avenue and Broadway.
The large volume of vehicles traveling along the strip is a factor, some residents said, along with rough road conditions.
“The traffic situation here is horrible and the streets themselves are horrible,” said Linda Hood, who has lived in the area since 1995 and frequents Broadway for weekly shopping trips.
“I’m seeing a lot more close calls and it’s so busy all day, every day.”
Many roads are not smooth, Hood said, and pedestrians with strollers and shopping carts can often get caught in grooves and holes while crossing.
A greater police presence is needed to discourage speeding drivers, along with warning signs for both motorists and pedestrians, residents suggested.
Lack of overhead lighting is also a concern along Broadway, where the J train runs above ground, according to Henderson.
The 81st Precinct is looking to work with the MTA, the city's Department of Transportation and elected officials to “save lives,” he said.
While locals said that drivers are often seen too close to the sidewalk, running lights or making sharp turns, they added that pedestrians need to obey the lights as well.
“People need to be more aware,” one resident, who declined to give his name, said. “You see people every day not watching where they’re walking until a car is right there.”
“They need to pay attention.”
Though fatalities are “once in a blue moon,” the necessity for traffic changes is still urgent, others said.
Transit organization Transportation Alternatives has worked closely with locals over the years to bring attention to issues on Broadway, according to deputy director Caroline Samponaro.
“It strikes me that there’s a huge demand for Broadway to be safer and more pedestrian-friendly,” Samponaro said. “It’s a real challenge, where safety is really compromised by the way the streets currently work.”
DOT identified Broadway as a Vision Zero priority corridor, and recently implemented safety improvements at the crossing of Jefferson and Saratoga avenues.
Officials cited issues such as “confusing” and “unattractive” environments for pedestrians in areas between two small islands in the intersection, as well as the lack of crosswalks at desirable locations.
Changes included a pedestrian triangle, new crosswalks, and added parking stripes, according to a DOT spokesperson.
Developments are in the works at Broadway and Chauncey Street, officials added, and the agency will review the site of this week’s fatal collision for any possible safety changes.