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Grand Street Kills

Another accident claimed a life on Grand Street Tuesday

DOT Acting Deputy Borough Commissioner Maurice W. Bruet (with CB 3 District Manager Susan Stetzer): Need more studies

by Yori Yanover

Ilaid Irizzary, 92, was born in Puerto Rico and grew up with eight siblings. A resident of East River Housing, she was "healthy as a horse," according to her brother, and walked often on her own to Chinatown. On Tuesday, September 26, at 11:00 AM, she was hit by a shuttle van rushing to make the green light on the intersection of the FDR Drive. According to eyewitnesses, the van was using the west-bound lane to go east, avoiding the congestion of double-parked yellow busses serving the Montessori school at 577 Grand Street.

Ilaid will be cremated and her ashes sent to Puerto Rico, in keeping with her wishes. Service will be held in her memory at the Church of the Epiphany, 22nd street and 2nd avenue, Saturday, September 30th, 5:30 PM

Back in December of 2005, the Grand Street News carried this item, which offers some background as to the circumstances leading to Ilaid's death:

Grand & FDR “Dangerous”

by Sara Spielman

At this month’s CB3 Public Safety and Sanitation/Transportation Committee, Grand Street News Publisher Yori Yanover presented a request to change the dangerous intersection at Grand and FDR, which poses a risk to the “disproportionately high number of elderly” living in East River Housing. Yanover told the board, “It’s not a quality of life issue, but an emergency,” and suggested changes to avoid a future fatality.

Yanover proposed that traffic from the FDR be routed onto the service road before turning onto Grand, forcing cars to slow down; synchronizing traffic lights, so that when the light turns green at Grand and the FDR, it turns red at Grand and Madison; and changing the lane widths on Grand between the FDR and Madison, to prevent car scraping.

According to Jessica Loesser, assistant to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, her office recently began working with the Department of Transportation to remedy the situation. Representing DOT, Acting Deputy Borough Commissioner Maurice W. Bruet said that the DOT is conducting a survey of the troubled intersection.

The committee recommended that CB 3 pass a resolution urging the DOT to complete their study speedily and to implement changes, before an actual fatality occurs on that corner.

Last night, I sent this email to Susan Stetzer, District Manager of Community Board 3:

You may recall my appeal last year before a CB3 committee to do something about pedestrian safety on the block of Grand Street between the FDR Drive and Lewis. Now another life was claimed here, an elderly woman who was hit yesterday by a shuttle van. This is a terribly frightening block, with articulated busses and school busses cramming the south side, forcing traffic to a tortured trickle, and oncoming cars from the FDR entering at highway speeds. We have a very high percentage of older persons living here, and they routinely fall prey to callused DOT indifference.

Her name was Ilaid Irizzary, she was 92, lived in East River Housing.

Who will be next?


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