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W’burg bus death prompts demands for sped-up traffic calming

Councilman Steve Levin (D-Downtown) is bringing out the big gun — well, radar gun — to track speeding cars.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

A college student’s death beneath the wheels of a bus should serve as a wake-up call to Mayor DeBlasio to implement his proposed driver-slowing measures immediately, politicians said on Sunday.

A bus driver ran over 21-year-old Marisol Martinez as she was crossing Union Avenue at Meeker Avenue early on Saturday morning, prompting officials to demand the mayor move more quickly on Vision Zero, his promised package of so-called “traffic calming” initiatives.

“I am deeply saddened by this tragedy and my thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Marisol Martinez,” said Councilman Steve Levin (D–Williamsburg). “Tragedies like this one are preventable and we must take meaningful action now.”

Councilman Antonio Reynoso (D–Bushwick) said he wants stricter enforcement of laws that demand stiff penalties for drivers found guilty of vehicular manslaughter. Pedestrians say they are often terrified of crossing streets in Williamsburg, which recently compiled statistics show is the deadliest neighborhood in the city as far as car crashes go.

“I have had to run across the street many times,” said John Galindo, who lives near the intersection where Martinez was struck. “I wish people would slow down. It only takes one bad time.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority declined to comment on the crash, other than to say that it is still under investigation.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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