Growing unease over safety at Gravesend intersection after second car accident

Following two car crashes near a Gravesend intersection over the span of a week, community members are growing increasingly concerned over public safety in the area.

According to Councilmember Mark Treyger, on Monday, July 31, an accident involving a car and a motorcycle occurred near the intersection of Avenue T and West 10th Street, just days after a hit-and-run claimed the life of 18-year-old Alejandro Tello.

Police say that at around 3;10 p.m. on Sunday, July 23, Tello was riding his skateboard along Avenue T when a driver in a white BMW SUV turned southbound onto West 10th Street from Avenue T and struck him. Tello was discovered unconscious and rushed by EMS to Maimonides Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

“This disturbing string of accidents along this stretch of Avenue T is a serious concern. The tragic death of Alejandro Tello, a young man robbed of a bright future, and this latest accident are indication enough that changes need to be made to the traffic pattern there,” said Treyger.

Although no injuries were reported in the most recent accident, both vehicles were heavily damaged. Treyger went on to state that he has scheduled a site visit with New York City Department of Transportation Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Keith Bray, the New York Police Department, Community Board 11 and Gravesend residents.

“We will be insisting on the immediate institution of traffic-calming measures and an increase in enforcement to ensure the safety of local residents,” said Treyger.

Marnee Elias-Pavia, district manager of Community Board 11, noted that although the intersection is signalized, users of the road must still be conscious of each other.

All users of the roadway need to comply with the rules of the road for the safety of everyone,” said Elias-Pavia, who once witnessed a vehicle strike a pedestrian at 18th Avenue and 86th Street. “People need to be aware of other users of the roadway and comply with traffic rules. Councilmember Treyger is initiating a meeting with the DOT and we will look for additional recommendations.”

Assemblymember William Colton also weighed in on the safety of the intersection, stating that it is compromised by a lack of traffic lights at nearby intersections.

“Accidents are reoccurring at this intersection, and it is not a coincidence. Residents of the neighborhood believe the
intersection of Avenue T and West 10th Street is dangerous because there are no traffic lights in the preceding
intersections at West 12th and 13th Streets. They complain that there are only stop signs at those intersections, allowing drivers to speed recklessly in this area. When they reach the intersection at Avenue T and West 10th Street, they are unable to stop safely and collide with pedestrians and other vehicles,” said Colton. “Let us not forget Alejandro [Tello] and the fight to keep our streets safe for youth like him and for the families of the whole community. While the police work to enforce the laws, our battle is to find ways to reduce the amount of traffic injuries and deaths.”

According to the DOT, a traffic signal at Avenue T and West 12th Street was denied in June and the location will be re-evaluated after three years at the request of the community.

“Following requests from elected officials or the community, DOT initiates a study using nationally recognized safety standards to determine the feasibility of additional traffic controls  – taking into consideration traffic volume, crash history, and past studies,” a DOT spokesperson explained.

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