Mayor promises redesign of McGuiness Blvd. after neighbor rally and teacher’s death

Brooklyn

GREENPOINT, Brooklyn — The last few years have been deadly on city streets.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has been facing increased criticism about street safety as his last year in office wraps up.

The death of a Brooklyn teacher has resulted in some action along a busy Brooklyn boulevard.

Matthew Jensen should be back in the classroom at P.S. 110 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. 

Instead, his students and their families are mourning his death. The NYPD says he was killed in a hit and run crash as he was crossing the boulevard around 12:45 a.m. at the intersection of Bayard Street. 

The driver of a black Rolls Royce has not been found. Neighbors, advocates and elected leaders walked along McGuiness Boulevard on Thursday afternoon. 

India Randon and Vera Radkevalicki are friends and classmates. 

“We want a change on the boulevard. It will be weird walking around the halls thinking about how he died,” they said. 

At a rally, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced some funding for a project along the busy boulevard. 

“We are putting money in the budget immediately to redesign and fix McGuinness Boulevard once and for all. We’re going to come to the community and say, how does this need to look? That it will work for everyone. We’re going to just plain do it. We have to do it now to save lives,” he said before marching with the group that stretched for blocks. 

For more than a decade this boulevard has been on the list of the most dangerous roads. 

“The specifics we suggested were to eliminate one lane of traffic, wider sidewalks and medians and bike lanes in each direction,” said parent Bronwyn Breitner. 

Assembly Member Emily Gallagher is the new representative of the area. She has worked with neighbors for years and called the mayor to discuss the history. 

“Not half measures but wholistic change. I’m imagining it will take two years and I will motivate the community to participate in every step of the process,” she said. 

The speed limit was lowered a few years ago to 25 miles per hour. 

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