Dear Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Inspector Michael Pilecki, Deputy Inspector Donald T. Powers, and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer,
On Monday, March 11th, 2013, a minivan sped through the intersection of Thomson and Skillman Avenues in Long Island City, Queens, fatally striking sixteen-year-old Tenzin Drudak and injuring four others when it jumped the curb. Hundreds of students cross this intersection daily to get to the four schools located nearby, and in the wake of this tragedy we insist action must be taken to ensure such an incident never occurs again.
We understand efforts have been made in the past to increase safety at this intersection, but it is now a crucial necessity. We as students have drawn up a list of suggestions to help prevent future accidents, some of the most important being:
• A crossing guard at the intersection during peak hours of the day.
• A longer walk light for pedestrians crossing Thomson Avenue.
• A functional PUSH TO WALK buttons on for the pedestrian crossings at Thomson Avenue, where people often get impatient and jaywalk.
• Proper enforcement of traffic signs and speed limits.
• No right turns from Thomson Avenue onto Skillman Avenue and Thomson Avenue onto 30th Street from the hours of 8 AM to 4:30 PM.
• Additional metal barricades at the Thomson and Skillman Avenue corner where up to 20 pedestrians stand routinely.
• A blinking red light for vehicles driving eastbound from Court Square and the Queensboro Bridge.
Such efforts are not only needed to prevent further incidents, but to help us students feel safe and secure. Going to school shouldn't be a hassle, with crossing the street being the least of our worries, but this is New York City, and we understand we have to be careful—we only ask for some help.
The students, faculty, and staff of Bard High School Early College Queens