Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kensington Residents Demand Improved Road Safety on Ocean Parkway

Councilman Brad Lander
City Council member Brad Lander joined with Kensington residents, transportation advocates and others at the corner of Ocean Parkway and Church Avenue to demand safety improvements there and elsewhere on the dangerous Brooklyn thoroughfare.

A full year has passed since Kensington residents voted for Lander’s proposal to allocate $200,000 to safety upgrades on the notoriously unsafe roadway in the borough’s “participatory budgeting” election.

Unfortunately not enough time has passed for the New York State Department of Transportation to take action. They have as yet neither approved Lander’s plan, saying it would not improve the parkway’s safety, nor have they come up with their own plan that would create a better, safer road.

Too late for 73-year-old Ngozi Agbim, who was hit by a semi-trailer truck and killed at the intersection last Monday, making residents angry, sad and bitter.

“We just do not understand how is it that a God fearing and loving mother would die in such a manner walking back from a church service,” said Eugene Agbimson, Brother-in-Law of Ngozi Agbim.  “This is very difficult, but it is also very rewarding. It allows me to reflect on her life, her dedication to the service of God and her lifelong committed to the less privilege.   Her death like her life is now a beacon – a rallying point for change.”

“We have been working to fix that intersection—which we all know is dangerous—for years,” said Council Member Lander. “The community felt so strongly that this was voted a top priority in last year’s budget. We are heartbroken about Monday’s tragedy, which took the life of our neighbor, Ngozi Agbim. We must act now to do all we can to prevent future tragedies. We are calling on New York State DOT to approve our plan.”

“It has saddened me that someone died in this tragic accident,” said nearby resident Arlette F. Mathis. “My family and I cross that intersection daily. We fear crossing, because even with the signage, drivers speed onto the Prospect Expressway and seldom yield to pedestrians. Something like this should never happen again.”