2009-05-01 / Editorial/Opinion

One Death Is One Too Many

The tragic vehicle accident that took the lives of Broad Channel resident Joanne Kodetsky and her dog as they innocently took a walk along the bicycle path on the west side of Cross Bay Boulevard earlier this month is just the latest in a long line of accidents that have taken the lives of both pedestrians and motorists on that dangerous stretch of road. Police say that the driver of the vehicle that hit Kodetsky was traveling at a high rate of speed. Some eyewitnesses have testified that he was driving in excess of 70 miles per hour. Unfortunately, that would not be a novelty for that road, where there are long, flat expanses and few traffic controls. The Board Channel Volunteer Fire Department, usually the first responder in accidents on Cross Bay Boulevard, has worked many accidents on that road, and its chief, Dan McIntyre, believes that it is time to take action. Because of the bike path, McIntyre says, the road has become even more dangerous and "we are subjecting our children and friends to a very dangerous situation." "We have pulled many knuckleheads as well as many innocent people from wrecks along the boulevard over the years, and it is always a tragedy when an innocent person is involved." He calls for a series of jersey barriers to be placed between the bike path and the road, in order to safeguard the walkers, joggers and bikers who regularly use the path, particularly in warm weather. He says that the city's solution, which is increased enforcement, will not work. We would like to see a mix of solutions - increased police activity, jersey barriers and an education campaign to point out just how dangerous the road can be. A first step might be to leave the automobile involved in the recent accident in situ, rolled over in the bushes, with a large billboard over it, a billboard that should read, "Speed, and This Could Be You!"

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