A group of Flushing residents joined elected officials on College Point Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue yesterday to call for the city to ensure that future development doesn’t make and already problematic area even more dangerous.
“Downtown Flushing is undergoing a period of rapid growth that must be balanced with improved safeguards against traffic accidents,” said Councilman Peter Koo. “The 109th Police Precinct and Related Companies have both worked to provide traffic safety agents during periods of high traffic at this intersection, and it must be the responsibility of the City of New York to ensure future development does not turn this heavily traveled roadway into a safety hazard. I will continue to advocate for traffic safety and awareness on all levels of government, but it is important to remember that this responsibility falls on all of us, and if you are involved in an accident it is your duty as a driver, as a citizen, as a human being, to stop, help and report the incident to the authorities. This driver decided to flee the scene, and I encourage anyone with information to contact the authorities.”
The rally came on the heels of a fatal hit-and-run incident that took place over the weekend, where Mariano Contreras was hit by a northbound black SUV just after 1 a.m. Sunday morning.
“It is a tragedy whenever a life is taken, but even more so when it could have been prevented,” said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. “Drivers and pedestrians must use caution on the road at all times. Traffic lights, harsher punishments on reckless drivers and clearly marked crosswalks are important, but awareness is also key. I extend my condolences to Mariano Contreras’ loved ones and call on the driver to do the right thing and turn themselves in, so that the family may have some closure and grieve fully.”
According to the New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vision zero website, there’s been an accident along every intersection on a 10-block stretch of College Point Boulevard with at least one injury in the last year with 11 total injuries at the intersection of College Point Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue.
Police are still looking for the suspect they say fled the scene after striking Contreras. Below is video of the incident, courtesy the NYPD. The vehicle is described as a 2014/15 dark colored Jeep Cherokee.