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Pedestrian Gravely Wounded by Driver on Still-Dangerous McGuinness Boulevard

3:13 PM EST on January 25, 2022

Despite a city commitment last year, McGuinness Boulevard remains a speedway. Photo: Google

A senior citizen was struck and seriously injured on Monday night on deadly McGuinness Boulevard, a roadway that the outgoing de Blasio administration vowed to redesign for safety, but didn't initiate before its clock ran out.

According to police, a 75-year-old woman was crossing McGuinness Boulevard near Norman Avenue at around 6:30 p.m. when she was struck by the 70-year-old driver of a 2021 Lincoln Corsair, which is described by car enthusiasts as a small SUV, but nonetheless weighs 3,703 pounds.

Police claimed that the pedestrian was crossing mid-block, though it is unclear who told officers that — the driver of the Corsair remained on the scene and may have been the main witness.

The victim was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition with multiple fractures, but she is expected to survive. Police said their investigation is ongoing and that the driver was not charged.

The crash on McGuinness is just the latest carnage on a roadway built for driver convenience and a shortcut between the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and Long Island City. In just the eight years of Mayor de Blasio's term, there were 1,290 reported crashes (or roughly 161 per year!) on the short stretch of McGuinness between the BQE and the Pulaski Bridge, injuring 39 cyclists, 46 pedestrians and 198 motorists, and killing one cyclist and one pedestrian.

After the fatal hit-and-run that killed pedestrian Matthew Jensen in May, 2021, de Blasio said he would dedicated $40 million towards a complete redesign of the deadly thoroughfare. In August, the Department of Transportation held a virtual workshop to begin that process (and is continuing to take feedback on its comment portal here).

“We’re going to apply Vision Zero right here right now on McGuinness Boulevard because it is long overdue,” the mayor said in May at a rally put together by Assembly Member Emily Gallagher. “We are putting money in the budget immediately to redesign and fix McGuinness Boulevard. … It’s time."

As the DOT studies the roadway, residents say there's no need for additional analysis, as there has been plenty.

In 2010, after Neil Chamberlain and Solange Raulston were killed months apart on McGuinness, Transportation Alternatives went to the intersection of Nassau Avenue, where cyclist Raulston was killed in late 2009, and found that drivers violate traffic laws every 17 seconds — and fail to yield to pedestrians every two minutes.

Two years later, the McGuinness Boulevard Working Group put out a new study that showed that two out of three motorists speed on McGuinness (when the speed limit was 30 miles per hour).

“Speeding along McGuinness Boulevard has been a problem for as long as I can remember and it’s getting worse,” then-Council Member Steve Levin said at the time. “We have to get speeding under control for the safety of bicyclists, pedestrians and other drivers.”

The speed limit was dropped to 25 miles per hour in 2014, but little else was done to make the four-lane roadway safer.

Danny Harris, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, said the redesign can't come soon enough.

“It’s painful to hear about another horrific crash on McGuinness Boulevard," he said. "We need to redesign streets to prevent traffic violence and we need to address the increase in SUVs that are causing more and more harm on our streets."

The NYPD told Streetsblog on Tuesday that it has no updates on the hit-and-run crash that killed Jensen last year. Cops believe he was struck by a Rolls-Royce, a highly recognizable, rare vehicle.

We reached out to the DOT for an update and will amend this story upon receipt.

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