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Deadly Accident Prompts Demands For Better Traffic Safety In Long Island City

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The death of a teenager in a curb-hopping incident earlier this month has brought new attention to what many said are long-held complaints about traffic safety on the streets of Long Island City, Queens.

As WCBS 880's Paul Murnane reported, students at LaGuardia Community College said they gathered nearly 500 signatures on a safety petition last summer. The city Department of Transportation said it is working on "significant improvements," including sidewalk extensions.

Deadly Accident Prompts Demands For Better Traffic Safety In Long Island City

But Queens Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley said the spotlight has been shining yonder on notorious Queens Boulevard.

"We're safely just four blocks away from the boulevard of death," he said. "They put a lot of emphasis on creating traffic-calming measures and those measures were not extended to this area."

On Monday of last week, Drudak Tenzin, 16, was killed, and four other pedestrians were injured after a minivan jumped a curb on Thomson Avenue and 30th Street.

A 2002 Dodge Caravan was headed east on Thomson when its driver lost control and jumped a curb near a bus stop, police said. That was when the van collided with five people on the sidewalk and hit a pole before hitting a tree, police said.

Witnesses said the crosswalk was filled with pedestrians at the time of the crash and the van had swerved to miss the crowd crossing the street, 1010 WINS' Al Jones reported.

Tenzin's death is the first in six years in the area, according to the Department of Transportation. Local officials have called for stepped-up enforcement and additional barriers between the sidewalk and the street.

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