‘Something needs to be done’: Whitestone calls for safety improvements at accident-prone corner

Photo via Facebook/Robert Stridiron

After a series of recent accidents, including a hit-and-run that left a pedestrian with serious injuries, Whitestone residents want to see action from a city agency.

Residents are collecting signatures to call on the city Department of Transportation (DOT) to install additional safety measures at the intersection of 17th Road and Murray Street. Published by resident Joseph Angenbroich on Dec. 11, the petition requests a four-way stop or traffic light at the site to calm conditions.

On Thanksgiving night, a 71-year-old pedestrian crossing at the intersection — which currently has a two-way stop — was hit by a van and thrown several feet into the air. He was transported to Flushing Hospital in critical condition.

It was later announced that the driver, identified as 52-year-old Carmine Minichino of Corona, had a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit, according to prosecutors.

The Thanksgiving incident is one of many at the site over the years, according to Angenbroich. Earlier this month, two vehicles collided at the site, launching one of the cars dangerously close to a nearby home.

The intersection is close to multiple schools, a church and a playground, the Whitestone resident also pointed out.

In just three days, the petition has gathered over 800 signatures.

“I’ve witness[ed] over 4-5 accidents myself over the past 5 years at this same intersection,” wrote signee Anthony Lombardo. “Something needs to be done.”

According to a DOT spokesperson, the city agency completed a study at the site in December 2016, at which time it did not meet the criteria for the installation of an all-way stop sign.

“DOT will work closely with the community to explore feasibility for other potential safety enhancements,” the spokesperson added.

View the petition by clicking here.

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