You are reading

DOT Implements Street Safety Measures in Aftermath of 9-year-old’s Death, Pols Call for More

Last week, Senator Jose Peralta toured Northern Boulevard along with Councilmember Francisco Moya, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Assemblymember Michael Dendekker and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg (Photo: Facebook/ Office of Jose Peralta)

May 18, 2018 By Tara Law

Two weeks after 9-year-old Giovanni Ampuero was killed by a driver on Northern Boulevard, the Department of Transportation has taken steps to make the thoroughfare safer.

The DOT has put in place changes that aim to make the boulevard safer for pedestrians to cross, particularly when vehicles make left turns.

Ampuero was struck and killed on April 30 at the intersection of 70th Street and Northern Boulevard by a driver turning left. The driver, 86-year-old Juan B. Jimenez, struck the young victim in the crosswalk and fled the scene. He was arrested nearby.

Following the incident, the DOT has installed a “leading pedestrian interval”— which gives pedestrians time to start walking across the street before cars get a green light to turn— at the intersection where Ampuero was killed. The DOT has also installed leading pedestrian intervals at other intersections on Northern Boulevard between 58th Street and Junction Boulevard, a DOT spokesperson said.

Left turns like the one that killed Ampuero are considered to be particularly dangerous for pedestrians. Left turning vehicles are three times as likely to kill or severely injure pedestrians or cyclists compared to right turning vehicles, according to a DOT study published in 2016. Vehicles turning left killed 108 pedestrians and cyclists in New York between 2010 and 2014, according to the study.

Giovanni (Photo: Facebook)

The department’s decision to install  leading pedestrian intervals is a “step in the right direction,” said Assemblymember Michael Dendekker. However, he added, more needs to be done.

Dendekker plans to introduce a bill that would lead to the creation of special intersections called a “Barnes dance” or a “pedestrian scramble.” These intersections bring all vehicles to a complete halt—via red lights—and pedestrians in every direction cross at the same time.

“That’s what we need here,” Dendekker said during a meeting with the DOT last week. “We need to make sure this never happens again.”

The DOT is currently studying the Barnes dance, as well as “daylighting”— which involves removing parking spaces near intersections so drivers can see pedestrians more easily—and adding longer leading pedestrian intervals, a DOT spokesperson said.

State Senator Jose Peralta said that he was “pleased” with the DOT’s efforts to make the road safer.

Peralta said that he will continue to advocate for his school zone speed camera bill, which would expand the use of the cameras to more schools and for longer hours, and make the use of the cameras at certain schools permanent.

The intersection where Giovanni was fatally injured— 70th Street and Northern Boulevard— is within eight blocks of five schools.

The speed cameras are aimed to help law enforcement to crack down on drivers who speed and to encourage more responsible behavior.

“It is insane to think that a boy lost his life as he was crossing the street with a walk green light,” Peralta said. “It is vital that we not only hold reckless drivers accountable and take them off the road, but we implement the necessary road and pedestrian safety changes to protect New Yorkers. I welcome the first changes DOT has made to Northern Boulevard, and look forward to working with them to make this corridor safe for all.”

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
Richie V J Hts Activist

37th Ave Jackson Hts is
The Next Northern Blvd

Speeding illegal Dirt Bikes
Speeding cars and trucks
3 point turns … mid Ave
Double parking
Honking horns
Blocking the Box

Call Danny Dromm
Call Jose Peralta
Call Ari Espinal

Call !
… if Not ?

Blood will flow on 37th Ave

Richie V
The Rabid Activist
of Jackson Hts

The Truth.

Add more crossing guards, or have traffic agents help so the cars don’t block the intersection or the cross walk .

Cup of Joe .

NYPD should be on traffic duty in the morning , there are a lot offenders trying to beat the red lights. On Northern Blvd , 37 Ave , 35 Ave, 34ave.

Captain Obvious

Had they thought about this when Vision Zero began , this tragedy could have been avoided.
It is easier to prevent the problem than to deal with it.

The Truth.

Again , NYPD + DOT + DMV need to work together to get these dangerous, aggressive, habitual violators off the street .

Top Hat.

All those are good ideas, but NYPD & DOT needs to focus on the aggressive drivers & the people that suffer from road rage.
That’s the real problem.


It’s a very good start , but a lot more is needed especially during school hours.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Met Council leader warns of ‘catastrophe’ for low-income families in Queens due to lack of pandemic-era federal food aid

Mar. 28, 2023 By Bill Parry

As an accomplished legislator, law professor and media personality with broad experience in government and not-for-profit organizations, Met Council CEO and executive director David Greenfield is well aware of the power of words. With Passover arriving on Wednesday, April 5, and with federal pandemic food assistance no longer available to low-income families in Queens, the leader of the nation’s largest Jewish charity organization warned of a coming “catastrophe” and called for the city to step up to provide $13 million in emergency funding for pantries to help New Yorkers facing food insecurity and elevated costs of living in the borough.

Pair of Queens community organizations will activate public spaces to celebrate local cultures

Two Queens community organizations are among an inaugural cohort of five groups citywide that will lead new projects to celebrate local cultures and histories in public spaces under a new initiative called The Local Center in a partnership between Urban Design Forum and the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD).

At a time when New York is grappling with an uneven pandemic recovery and as displacement looms large for communities and neighborhoods across the five boroughs, this new endeavor will convene interdisciplinary teams to transform and activate the shared spaces where cultural traditions flourish — and importantly, center the community visions and leadership that is too often left out of the process.