Here's the letter my husband wrote to Melanie La Rocca, who he contacted the last time someone was killed at the dangerous intersection of 23rd and 9th. He's concerned with another dangerous corner just a block away from where the recent fatalities occurred at 24th and 9th.
We had spoken a month ago regarding the left turn from Ninth Avenue to West 24th Street. West 24th Street is much wider than the standard Manhattan cross street at this juncture and is angled in such a way to allow drivers to turn left without almost without reducing speed. This is a half block from where Christine Quinn lives so I'm sure she is familiar with this throwback to irresponsible 1960s urban planning.
As you can imagine over the years I have watched numerous near collisions with pedestrians especially elderly from the Penn South houses and those laden with baby carriages.
The solution to this is to create a simple choke point where the curb is extended at the turn to prevent illegal parking and force drivers to slow down before turning. While increased signage is a cheap way to appear if something is being done to alleviate the danger it does nothing as it is ignored by the drivers and not understood by many pedestrians who have never driven a car.
You mentioned that the expense to the DOT of moving a drain is what stands in the way of creating this choke point.
This led me to an idea. Please supply me with the lowest ranking person in the DOT and their immediate supervisor who have the authority to finance the movement of the drain regardless how that financing can be accomplished.
I will then contact a series of urban issue bloggers and ask them to post that person's name and contact information. The context of the message will be that if someone is killed or injured as a result a vehicle turning left from Ninth Avenue to West 24th Street, that death or injury could have been avoided had this New York City employee funded the simple movement of a drain. Additionally we can copy this and any further correspondence to the local newspapers citing an example of how politics triumphed over human life. I'm sure at that point the money will appear.
I understand the usual method is to wait until the number of injuries and deaths reach a certain critical statistical point but I thought it more humane to repair an obvious hazard before someone dies. I'm sure, should Christine become Mayor, this is the kind of accountability she would like in her administration.
Tyler C Hill
Please contact Speaker Quinn and urge her to rectify the risk to all our citizens at these two dangerous corners.