Dec. 17, 2015 By Michael Florio
Local politicians met with representatives of the Department of Transportation on Wednesday at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and Junction Boulevard, where 17-year-old Ovidio Jaramillo was killed by a hit and run driver while crossing the street last week.
The officials discussed ways to make the busy corridor safer, such as additional traffic calming concepts and greater enforcement.
Jaramillo, an East Elmhurst resident, was struck while crossing the street by a driver of a black Toyota Camry who was traveling westbound on Northern Boulevard, according to the NYPD. The driver did not stop and the vehicle continued westbound on Northern Boulevard.
Following Jaramillo’s death, Peralta requested that the DOT study the intersection and come up with solutions to make it safer for pedestrians. He specifically requested the installation of rumble strips leading up to the intersection, to force drivers to slow down.
He also requested the installation of speed cameras at the intersection. The DOT told the Peralta that they would look into this request, he said.
Regarding Peralta’s requests, a DOT spokesman told the Jackson Heights Post, “in the past few years, DOT has implemented several safety enhancements in the area and currently is in the process of conducting a comprehensive review of the area for any additional enhancements that can be implemented.”
“We are also looking at periodic speed camera enforcement in the area starting in the next few days,” he added.
The DOT spokesman noted that the agency cannot disclose the locations of speed cameras, as a matter of policy.
According to the DOT, there were nine pedestrian injuries at the intersection from 2010 to 2014. Other than Tuesday’s fatal case, there have not been any fatalities at the intersection since 2010.
Peralta held a press conference last week following the death of Jaramillo.
At that time, he also called for additional lighting and red light cameras at the intersection, which would reduce accidents as well as help catch hit-and-run drivers.
Regarding City-wide traffic safety, Peralta has introduced legislation that will require the DOT to create a public awareness campaign to educate pedestrians about the dangers of texting and using cell phones while crossing streets.