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Woman Run Over by Truck on Houston Spurs More Calls for Street Safety

locationsA D.O.T. handout from earlier this year, outlining areas
in need of safety measures around Houston Street.

A flatbed truck struck and killed a 58-year-old woman crossing West Houston Street on a scooter this morning.

The police said that the victim was run over by the rear wheels of the trailer as it turned onto Sixth Avenue around 8:50 a.m. She was dragged to Minetta Lane before witnesses alerted the truck driver to the horrific accident. “There were a dozen people running up the street screaming and telling him to stop,” one witness told The Daily News.

The latest accident only reinforced the perception that Houston Street is one of the most deadliest thoroughfares in the city.

“Of course today’s tragedy is unique and we don’t know if any of these critical improvements would have prevented it. But we must do everything in our power to prevent the next one,” State Senator Daniel Squadron wrote in a statement, pointing to a bill that would strengthen penalties against reckless drivers, as well as recent safety improvements to Delancey Street.

15 Congested and Dangerous Intersections Targeted for Improvement

houstonandboweryNatalie Rinn The intersection of Bowery and Houston.

Ten East Village intersections have been targeted for improvement by the Department of Transportation, including one – the intersection of Houston and Bowery – that has seen a bevy of biking accidents.

Last night at a joint meeting of Community Boards 2 and 3, the department unveiled the findings of a two-year survey covering a southern portion of the East Village as well as portions of Greenwich Village, NoLIta, and the Lower East Side. The study, which can be seen below, identified 15 intersections (10 of them in the East Village) that the city will target for future makeovers, including five intersections (one in the East Village) that were said to be “high accident locations.” From 2008 to 2010, the intersection of Avenue A and First Street saw 25 accidents, 18 of which resulted in injuries and one of which resulted in the death of a pedestrian.

Though the intersection of Houston Street and Bowery wasn’t among those identified by the D.O.T. as the most dangerous, it was that crossing – the city’s most accident-prone intersection for bicyclists from 1995 to 2009 – that initiated the study to begin with, and it was the one most East Village residents spoke up about. The study found noticeable congestion at the intersection, where 10 to 15 percent of daytime vehicles were trucks, and noted that it was in need of changes to better accommodate turns. Read more…