**For Immediate Release**
February 24, 2010
Contacts: Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191, and Sharon Davidson at (718) 783-1685
Council Member Letitia James, North Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District, DOT, and the community continue to pray for two young women struck by a vehicle in Brooklyn last weekend
Community stakeholders gather at DOT offices to consider adding more funding for traffic calming and pedestrian safety measures to the North Flatbush Avenue BID's Capital Project Streetscape Design
On Sunday morning, Erinn Phelan, an employee of the mayor’s office was declared brain-dead after she and Alma Guerrero were struck by a hit-and-run driver while crossing Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, according to the police. A car traveling north on Flatbush Avenue struck the women near the intersection of Prospect Place in Prospect Heights, around 4:30 am, authorities said. When officers arrived at the scene, they found both women lying in the street.
“This accident is a terrible tragedy for the families of Erinn Phelan, and Alma Guerrero, as well as the community. It is my hope that once again, important lessons will be learned from this incident. I offer the families of these young women any assistance needed, as they are all in my thoughts and prayers,” said Council Member James.
Coincidentally, this accident happened on the eve of a previously scheduled meeting that was held Tuesday with DOT and community stakeholders, including the North Flatbush Avenue BID; Prospect Heights Development Corporation; Park Slope Civic Association; Borough President Marty Markowitz; Council Member Letitia James and Council Member Stephen Levin. The group looked at traffic calming initiatives such as street furniture, synchronization of lights, islands and other calming methods. A meeting is also planned with commanders of the 77th and 78th Police Precincts to discuss enforcement.
“For the past several years, the North Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District has been working with DOT to address pedestrian safety issues, and create traffic calming designs for Flatbush Avenue,” said Sharon Davidson, Executive Director of the North Flatbush Avenue BID.
Recently, a study by the Park Slope Neighborhood Council in coordination with the BID and DOT, resulted in the installation of painted channelization markings and enhanced crosswalk markings – specifically at the Carlton Avenue triangle to reduce speeding traffic from Flatbush Avenue onto Carlton Avenue, and to increase pedestrian safety.
“Also, since 1986, the North Avenue Flatbush BID has had good relationships with the 78th and 77th Precincts, and we will continue to address these traffic issues. The DOT and NYPD collaborations will continue to focus on pedestrian safety. The BID has expectations for more changes and improvements in the near future,” said Sharon Davidson.
Council Member James said: “I look forward to working with the administration to promote greater safety on City streets when driving, because these accidents occur far too often. Also, residents walking should always be cautious when crossing speedways such as Flatbush Avenue, which may get worse because of the proposed Atlantic Yards Project near this accident site and growth of Brooklyn. Lastly, I and the City Council will continue to stand beside these victims and family members during their time of need.”