More than six months after the death of a pedestrian on McGuinness Boulevard, the victim’s mother has grown frustrated over the police’s handling of the case and the city’s slow response towards calming one of Brooklyn’s meanest streets.
Williamsburg resident Neil Chamberlain, 28, died on April 20, two days after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while attempting to cross the six-lane mini-highway near Calyer Street in Greenpoint.
Cops have not found the driver who sideswiped her son — and McCulloch remains unsatisfied.
“[The police] don’t seem optimistic,” said McCulloch, a finance professor at Brandeis University. “They identified a car that had damage to it, it had a broken windshield and other damage you might expect if a car collided at some speed with a person, but they didn’t [arrest anyone].”
McCulloch also asked police for statistics about fatalities and accidents at McGuinness Boulevard intersections but she did not receive any responses, even though a traffic camera is affixed to a pole above the corner where her son died.
According to McCulloch, police told her that the traffic camera was not in operation. An NYPD spokeswoman did not return an e-mail about the accident.
A week after Chamberlain’s death, transportation advocates from Transportation Alternatives and Neighbors Allied for Good Growth declared McGuinness Boulevard one of Brooklyn’s deadliest streets — releasing a study showing that vehicles violated traffic laws on the strip every 17 seconds and failed to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks once every two minutes.
Two individuals, including Chamberlain, have died crossing McGuinness Boulevard since 2008, but several others have been injured or had their bicycles wrecked in collisions.
This summer, the Department of Transportation announced measures designed to slow traffic on the city’s speediest corridors, including installing countdown signals to let pedestrians know when to cross — but such changes have not been implemented along McGuinness.
McCulloch knows that new safety measures, whenever they will go into effect, will never bring her son back but may protect others in the neighborhood.
“Six months later, cars are still driving along this stretch at highway speeds, and the driver who ran Neil down and did not stop is still out on the street endangering the safety of others,” said McCulloch.