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Greenpoint Community Demands Changes To McGuinness Boulevard After Beloved Teacher Is Killed In Hit-And-Run

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Parents, students and lawmakers marched Thursday to remember a beloved teacher who was killed in a hit-and-run in Brooklyn last week and demand action.

Matthew Jensen was all smiles celebrating his 58th birthday at his cousin John Ogren's house.

Matthew Jensen died after being struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Bayard Street and McGuinness Boulevard in Greenpoint on May 18. (Photo provided)

On his walk home, around 12:45 a.m. on May 18, Jensen was struck and killed by a black Rolls Royce as he crossed McGuinness Boulevard from Bayard Street in Greenpoint. The driver did not stop.

"I miss every single thing about him," Ogren told CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas.

Flowers and handmade signs from students line Public School 110, where Jensen was a teacher.

One week later, the community gathered to remember his life.

"Matt was a witty, smart, fiercely caring educator," parent Bronwyn Brightner said.

Now, Jensen's death is renewing calls to redesign that's described as a dangerous McGuinness Boulevard.

"The morning of the 18th, he left my home to take the trip that he has taken a thousand times before. Then I get the call," Ogren said. "Somehow through the fog I heard it was McGuinness Boulevard. I wasn't surprised."

Lowering the speed limit in recent years, residents say, is not enough. These are pleas, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, aligned with his Vision Zero initiative.

"We are putting money in the budget immediately to redesign and fix McGuinness Boulevard once and for all," the mayor said.

There's no word on how much, but de Blasio said community conversations would follow.

He called on Albany to do its part as a package of legislation known as the Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act remains stalled.

"If we don't do something, not just something, something meaningful, there will be many more who die on McGuinness Boulevard," Assembly Member Emily Gallagher said.

On May 18, it was Matthew Jensen, who dedicated his life to serving others. Now, a community is fighting in his name.

"There's a lot of promises made. I really hope something happens," Ogren said.

Meanwhile, police continue to search for the driver who fatally struck Jensen. Anyone with information is asked to call police.

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