If you’ve ever tried to cross a busy street in the city without the help of a traffic light, you may understand the motivation behind David Bookstaver’s battle. According to the New York Times, Bookstaver took up the cause when he and his then-4-year-old daughter had problems crossing East 85th Street at East End Avenue to get to the park.
Bookstaver, communications director for the New York State Unified Court System, began making phone calls and writing letters to city leaders and encouraging neighbors to do the same. He had no idea that it would take six years to get what he was after — a stop light.
Over the years he was told the intersection didn’t meet the federal standards for a traffic signal. Undeterred, Bookstaver believed he was right and wouldn’t let it rest.
The intersection was the only one for blocks without a sign or signal to slow down drivers. This was a problem, considering the presence of a popular park on one side of the street. But, according to officials, no serious accidents had been reported there, and so it wasn’t a dire need at the time.
The city did compromise, offering to put up a pedestrian crossing sign at the intersection. That wasn’t enough for Bookstaver.
After six years and a few studies (depending on whom you ask), the city finally approved a traffic light for the intersection, and Bookstaver was there to watch it get mounted. His daughter is now 10 years old and says she is happy that her father will finally be able to let it rest.
Others in the community are also happy that they won’t have to contend with traffic to get across the street.
How often does this happen — where a citizen sees an unsafe scenario and reports it to the city for a resolution? Not often. And when it does, it rarely results in a years-long campaign. Instead, potentially dangerous intersections often go without improvements until an accident happens.
Call a NYC Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Whether crossing the street or standing on a curb, New York City pedestrians are always potential accident victims. Partly due to the sheer volume of traffic in the city, pedestrian accidents are quite common.
If you are a pedestrian who has been injured in a New York City accident, you need someone on your side. The New York accident lawyers of Davis, Saperstein, & Salomon, P.C., may be able to help. Contact us today by calling 1-800-LAW-2000.
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