Community calls for traffic light at deadly Astoria intersection
Family members of the 7-year-old girl who was struck and killed by an SUV last week joined forces Sunday with neighbors, elected officials and pedestrian safety advocates to demand action.
“During her short 7 and a half years, [she] brought the greatest joy to us!!” said Tsering Wangdu of Astoria. “She was a kind, compassionate, loving child with the most beautiful smile.”
This was his first public comments since the tragic death of his fun-loving daughter, Dolma Naadhun.
What You Need To Know
- The family of Dolma Naadhun joined neighbors, elected officials and pedestrian safety advocates to demand that the city’s Department of Transportation to install a traffic light at the corner of Newtown Road and 45th Street in Astoria
- This is the intersection where police say the second grader was struck by a driver, who had failed to make a complete stop at the stop sign on Feb. 17
- On Sunday, DOT officials told NY1 that the agency is committed to improving crosswalk markings at the intersection in question
What they want is for the city’s Department of Transportation to install a traffic light at the corner of Newtown Road and 45th Street.
According to the NYPD, a white Ford Explorer traveling eastbound on Newtown Road struck Dolma at the intersection of 46th Street at approximately 5:50 p.m. on Feb. 17.
This happened just a few hours after she and other students had been dismissed from PS 85 Q to begin their winter break.
“I consider the death of this sweet, little 7-year-old girl to be a manifestation of a broken system,” said Charles Komanoff, pedestrian safety advocate.
On Sunday, officials with the DOT told NY1 that the agency is committed to improving crosswalk markings at the intersection in question.
One major change implemented a few days ago is the addition of “No Standing” signs on both sides of Newtown Road by what used to be corner parking by 45th Street.
Officials say this is part of an effort called “daylighting” that will help determine whether they should permanently ban parking closest to this intersection to improve visibility.
Despite this change, Antonio Evangelista, who lives steps away from where the crash took place, noticed two cars with tickets on the windshield that parked in the “No Standing” area there.
“We should have a traffic light,” said Evangelista. “It’s better because it’s too much. People, they don’t stop!”
DOT officials also told NY1 they are considering whether to place vertical elements such as cement blocks, planters or bike corrals at the intersection, which officials said they believe would help slow turns.
At this time, no charges have been filed, and the investigation is ongoing, police said.
In the meantime, DOT officials tell NY1 the driver who struck young Dolma was not properly licensed.
Officials said the driver only had a learner’s permit, and that she did not have a licensed adult in the vehicle.