Statement: Make Third Avenue Safe before Another New Yorker Is Killed or Injured

Transportation Alternatives Interim Director, a Murray Hill Resident, Calls for Daylighting and Pedestrian Refuges on Third Avenue
Joseph Cutrufo -
(646) 873-6027

Statement of Transportation Alternatives Interim Executive Director Ellen McDermott: 

"Sarah Foster, a 27-year-old Manhattan resident, was killed by an oil truck driver this morning on 37th Street and Third Avenue. It is a shocking, preventable tragedy, and our thoughts are with all of her loved ones.

Third Avenue is a six-lane highway running through pedestrian-dense residential Manhattan, with no visible traffic-calming measures in place. If the New York City Department of Transportation had installed simple, commonsense, low-cost improvements to this dangerous street, Sarah Foster could be alive today. Pedestrian refuges, protected intersections, and daylighting -- removing parking spaces at intersections to improve turn visibility -- cost next to nothing and protect every New Yorker as they cross the street. We call on the New York City Council to pass the Vision Zero Design Standard Bill currently before them, which would require the City of New York to install these improvements as a matter of course. The bill currently has a remarkable 43 co-sponsors.

Drivers of large vehicles, and professional working drivers, like the oil truck driver who killed this 27-year-old, bear a great responsibility to travel with caution and care in residential environments. But the best way to force every driver to travel with caution and care is by designing streets that encourage safe behavior. As a nearby resident, this crash is a terrifying wake-up call. It's high time for Mayor de Blasio to make Third Avenue safe, before another New Yorker is killed or injured."