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Local Officials Call on DOT to Improve Safety Along 24th Avenue Following Deliveryman’s Death

The area of the collision at 24th Avenue and 33rd Street where Mariano Canales was killed in September (Google Maps)

Oct. 16, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Local elected officials and safe street advocates are calling on the Department of Transportation (DOT) to mitigate traffic issues along a busy roadway in Astoria where a restaurant deliveryman recently lost his life.

The officials say a stretch of 24th Avenue near P.S. 85 is ridden with truck traffic, while another portion of the thoroughfare has been the site of serious crashes in recent years — most notably the death of 27-year-old deliveryman Mariano Canales on Sept. 23.

Canales was riding his scooter back to the restaurant where he worked along 24th Avenue when he crashed into a minivan that was crossing the block at 33rd Street. The Woodside resident was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital – Queens, but he couldn’t be saved.

Local leaders are calling on the DOT to do a traffic study of the block in light of Canales’ fatal crash.

Astoria Council Member Costa Constantinides penned a letter to DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg on Oct. 13 asking the agency to study 24th Avenue from 21st Street to 37th Street and add traffic-calming measures to protect pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

“We must respond to a tragedy by preventing more from happening,” Constantinides wrote in the letter. “A traffic study of these 16 blocks could save an untold number of lives in the years ahead.”

Constantinides said Canales’ death was something nearby residents — himself included — worried would happen.

“Many people who live nearby, including myself, sadly worried when this would happen,” he said. “This particular stretch is a nightmare for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike.”

Drivers crossing 24th Avenue have poor visibility due to parked cars and often have to drive beyond the stop sign to look for oncoming traffic, the council member wrote. He suggested removing parking spaces adjacent to crosswalks — a practice called daylighting — to mitigate the issue.

Constantinides also noted that 24th Avenue from 21st Street to 29th Street still serves as a dangerous truck route, despite efforts to improve truck traffic. He repeated the request he made last year that the DOT find an alternative route for trucks, given the path’s close proximity to P.S. 85.

The Astoria lawmaker was joined by area officials–Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris and Queens Community Board 1 Chair Marie Torniali as well as Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets–in calling on the DOT to make 24th Avenue safer.

Simotas called for justice for Canales and said the DOT should do the responsible thing by studying the roadway.

“Mariano Canales deserves justice,” she said in a statement. “Astoria’s pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers deserve safe streets and the DOT should meet its responsibility of studying 24th Avenue and making whatever changes are needed to prevent unnecessary, future tragedies.”

Juan Restrepo, Queens organizer for Transportation Alternatives, and Chana Widawski, an organizer for Families for Safe Streets supported Constantinides’ call for safety improvements in the aftermath of Canales’ death.

“The death of working cyclist Mario Canales was preventable, and we implore the city to take swift action to ensure this never happens again,” they said in a joint statement. “We know that improvements like daylighting street corners to improve visibility at intersections, creating protected bike lanes, and other vision zero measures are proven to reduce crashes and save lives.”

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C CASTRO

With regards to the delivery driver killed on 24th Avenue. So, Astoria Council Member Costa Constantinides penned a letter to DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg on Oct. 13 asking the agency to study 24th Avenue from 21st Street to 37th Street and add traffic-calming measures to protect pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
Let’s cut to the chase, instead of placating to the two wheeled maniacs, and calling for safety measures on 24th Avenue, why don’t you address the real issue at hand?
It just might save lives.
None of them obey the Vehicle &Traffic Laws that they are supposed to obey, just like motored vehicles.
Bicycle riders, scooters, standing scooters, skateboarders, none of them stop at red lights, stop at stop signs, they do drive on the sidewalk, they drive the wrong way down the streets, they don’t have any reflectors, no license plates, they don’t have lights, even at night, they drive like lunatics, rushing from delivery to delivery. These people have no courtesy for pedestrians whatsoever. Perhaps it is time for the police begin enforcing the law, and putting a halt on all of these unregistered vehicles being driven by unlicensed, uninsured, individuals.

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anon

Today’s headline:
Tech Company Showcases E-Scooters to LIC Residents Ahead of City Permit Decision”
Superpedestrian, a transportation robotics company located in Cambridge, Mass., is one of several companies competing for permits to operate an electric scooter-sharing service starting March 1, 2021.

Even in light of what occurs in this article and in this comment section the “leaders” DON’T CARE! Lives will continue to be lost and unsafe IF we allow the city to further bully us! Tell the city if you want to be safe! Or this new Death trap toy will soon be unleashed on us as well as all the current grievences we are all force to survive in.

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Stop complaining and do something...

It truly was an unfortunate and untimely death of a young man. That said, the number of delivery guys on scooters or electric bikes blowing right through busy intersections or riding on sidewalks or riding in the wrong direction of a one way street is uncountable there are so many daily. Is the answer to fine those businesses or the hourly waged delivery people? My heart also goes out to the driver of the vehicle.

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Louis

Really? So, your food delivery will be late. And another thing: here we are talking about the hard traffic plus a bunch of people that drive cars and motorcycle in a higher speed. Keep yourself quiet if you don’t have a good sugestion! I’m live nearby and I see every day and every night crazy people driving like street racers! Don’t be a moron man!

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Chris

How did my food make it to me before the stupid scooters ? Yes please lets allow the idiots in the DOT and the Astoria and LIC politicians ruin another street ! Have you seen what they did Crescent street,or 20th ave ? We are trying to protect people who have no concept of safety Ex. Blowing stop signs, passing red lights , riding against traffic, no helmets, no licenses or proper training.God forbid I hit one who will pay for the damages to my car and for my psychiatrist for taking someones life? Please lets fix the cause of the problem first and if don’t work then we can make changes to the infrastructure that has been in place forever without issue. The Astoria post has reported on the revel scooters after taking three lives they were put out of business for about a month so they can fix there insurance rules to protect them from being sued and they came right back . NOTHING has changed ! Same idiots without helmets or training but the city makes a cut so they look the other way.

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Victoria Toro

I live on 24th Avenue and 33rd Street I can attest to the fact that is scary crossing my corner more so now that we have C Town supermarket on 32 Street the trucks are constantly blocking the view making it difficult to cross safely. This corner has a history of many accidents during the years, we need a light!!!

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Astoria Blvd Man

Thank you! Finally somebody is going to do something about the massive amount of trucks on 35 th street. Astoria BLVD and 35 street needs a no truck sign. They come off the bridge and turn on 35th street. They should turn and stay on Astoria BLVD and off non commercial blocks. That would prevent the heavy traffic on 24th ave.

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Preventable

That area is always dangerous, just out a street light up there and call it a day. Too many cars zip down and try to make the lights and then you have cars on 33rd street trying to make right and left turns at the same time also causing issues. Find the money and do something or put some damn stop signs there for all sides!

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