Calls for traffic safety after teen is killed outside LaGuardia Community College

Posted at 11:05 PM, Mar 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-14 23:05:53-04

A curbside memorial of flowers and candles marks the spots where that 16-year-old high school student was killed earlier this week.

Today the young boy’s friends returned to the scene of the tragic accident with other students and community leaders to urge the Department of Transportation to improve safety around this intersection before someone else gets hurt.

16-year-old Tenzin Drudak was killed simply waiting to cross the street to go to school when a van jumped the curb killing him and injuring four others Monday morning.

Now hundreds of LaGuardia community college students have signed a petition urging the department of transportation to act so they can feel safe getting to school.

“We can not risk our lives coming to school any more, please do something we need safety,” said one student

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer says thousands of drivers and pedestrians share the intersection each day. Many of the cars rushing to the 59th street bridge or midtown tunnel to get into Manhattan. Van Bramer says there are several near misses daily and something needs to be done before someone else gets hurt.

Van Bramer says it’s not a question of if safety needs to be improved, but rather what is the best way to improve a very dangerous intersection.

The councilman says he wants improved barricades for pedestrians and better timing for lights and signals.

Suggestions that many agree may have saved a young boys life had they been in place just a few days ago.

“Tragedies like these can be prevented with better street designs and better enforcement of our traffic laws. That must be done if this community is going to thrive,” said Michael Murphy of Transportation Alternatives.

It’s not just the students who are worried about their safety crossing the street.  Van Bramer saysany elderly people have already expressed concerns about crossing the agree safely.  The councilman says he’s reached out to DOT which responded only by saying all of the signals are working properly.  But clearly people in this area feel right now that’s not enough.