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AAA Calls For Immediate Improvements To Accident-Marred Ed Koch Bridge

LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- There was a demand Monday for a redesign of a dangerous hair-pin curve ramp off the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge.

It has been the scene of deadly traffic trouble, including three accidents in two months, reports CBS 2's Marcia Kramer.

On Monday there was heavy traffic on the Long Island City off-ramp of the expanse formerly known as the 59th Street Bridge, which slowed things down a bit but didn't stop demands for a quick fix to a driving nightmare.

"Act and act now," said Robert Sinclair of AAA New York.

Sinclair said three accidents in less than two months, including the killing of an innocent pedestrian on March 28, should be a wake-up call for action.

"It might, perhaps, take some sort of re-engineering of the roadway itself. It's a tricky maneuver, a so-called slalom maneuver. A vehicle has to make a right turn followed by a quick left," Sinclair said.

It's not that the city's Department of Transportation hasn't already taken action. After the first two accidents it installed flashing lights, signs, even white rumble strips on the road bed to warn drivers.

In the hunt for answers and solutions some are wondering whether it may be the lighting. All three accidents happened between 4 and 5:30 a.m.

"Low light situations obviously playing into it; excessive speed playing into it," Sinclair said.

DOT Queens Commissioner Maura McCarthy said speeding was a huge factor.

"The message is that speeding has awful results, really tragic results, so we believe all three accidents are attributable to speed," McCarthy said.

"I feel really bad, man, but everybody comes down speeding down there," said Alex Rodriguez of Maspeth.

"The city, they don't care. There's just construction everywhere. It's like that not only here," added Diego Yepez of East Elmhurst.

The city says it does care and as soon as the reports are completed from the latest mishap last weekend it will try to figure out what else can be done.

The city has started an anti-speeding campaign to slow drivers down. A pedestrian hit by a car going 40 mph has a 70-percent chance of dying, while at 30 mph the pedestrian has an 80-percent chance of living.

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