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Street Vigil for Slain Pedestrian

Seek Safety Near Ridgewood Hub

Hundreds gathered on Sunday, Jan. 26, at a Ridgewood intersection to remember a young woman slain there in a traffic accident last year-and call for safety improvements.

Judy Kottick, mother of slain pedestrian Ella Bandes, spoke at a vigil held Jan. 26 at the intersection of Myrtle and Wyckoff avenues, where her daughter was struck by an MTA bus last February.

“It was the worst day of our lives,” said Judy Kottick, whose 23- year-old daughter Ella Bandes was struck and killed by an MTA bus last February-just steps from where the rally took place. “We do not want anyone else to experience this nightmare.”

Several pedestrian advocacy groups were on hand last Friday, calling for traffic safety improvements and supporting the Vision Zero initiative-a Swedish traffic safety project aiming to reduce traffic fatalities to 0.

“The grief suffered by a family that loses a child is unimaginable to most of us, but it afflicts far too many,” said Keegan Stephan of Right of Way.

The group brought a banner with the names of every person slain in a traffic accident in 2013 and 2014. Below the most recent name, Angela Hurtado, were several blank lines representing the next victims.

According to information from the city’s Department of Transportation, more than 700 people cross the intersection per hour during peak hours.

Several local politicians spoke at the rally, expressing a desire for improved pedestrian safety throughout the city.

“I stand with hellip; a new class of city council members-city council members that ride bikes and understand how important it is for public transportation to run well and for the streets to be, more importantly, for people rather than cars,” said City Council Member Antonio Reynoso.

“This is a struggle for one city, not just parts of cities,” said Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna. “I ask every Brooklynite to sign on to Vision Zero.”

So far, at least 18 people have been killed as a result of traffic accidents, according to the city.

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