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Carnage

Outrage on Bloody McGuinness Blvd. as Motorist Severely Injures Moped Rider

The McGuinness redesign is stalled, but the carnage continues.

The wreckage of the car whose driver (in the red shirt) injured a moped rider on Aug. 10. Photo: Ethan Scott

A driver seriously injured a moped rider and smashed into several cars in the latest lethal rampage along McGuinness Boulevard in Greenpoint — renewing calls from infuriated local officials for the Adams administration to side with residents over a big political donor and make good on a longstanding promise to improve safety on the corridor where a beloved teacher was killed two years ago.

"We have had enough of the carnage and the danger," the group Make McGuinness Safe wrote in a statement issued after Thursday's crash. "A safety plan would be under active construction right now if it was not being actively blocked by wealthy donors to the mayor. Shame on them. Shame on the inaction in the face of a mortal danger to our neighborhood."

A Department of Transportation effort to make the highway-like street safer by narrowing it from two lanes to one in each direction and adding a parking-protected bike lane has stalled as the Adams administration yielded to opponents of the project, including the mayor's close adviser Ingrid Lewis-Martin and the powerful Argento family, which runs the local film sound stages Broadway Stages.

The motorist first rear-ended another driver at the corner of Newton Street and McGuinness around 2:30 p.m. and tried to flee the scene, barreling south on McGuinness before striking a young man and severely injuring his leg at Meeker Avenue.

He then continued south of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway overpass where McGuinness turns into Humboldt Street and crashed into a bunch of parked cars, totaling his vehicle and coming to a standstill between Herbert and Richardson streets, according to police.

A nearby resident heard the bang of the collision outside his apartment.  

“It sounded as if a big rig had run into a building,” Ethan Scott told Streetsblog. “He was going fast enough that the four cars he hit made one noise.”

Scott saw firefighters put the the victim on a stretcher and hose down a pool of blood, adding he was conscious, but badly hurt.

“One of his legs was pretty much destroyed, just dangling,” Scott recalled. 

The victim had been riding a moped, other witnesses told Scott, but police couldn't confirm the exact type of two-wheeler he had been using.

The police said the 20-year-old man suffered a broken leg and was brought to Elmhurst Hospital, but added that the injuries are not life threatening. The 56-year-old male driver is in custody, an NYPD spokesman added, but the cops have not yet charged him with a crime.

Firefighters clean the blood stains. Photo: Ethan Scott

The collision happened just a block south from where a driver hit and killed beloved local teacher Matthew Jensen in 2021 at the intersection of Bayard Street.

Just at the intersection of McGuinness and Meeker, there have been 26 crashes with injuries to six people over the last year, more than two serious collisions a month.

Since Jensen was killed, there have been 148 reported crashes on just the short stretch of McGuinness between the BQE and the Pulaski Bridge, injuring 64 people, including 13 pedestrians, according to city stats.

Scott has seen the dangerous road design over years of living in the north Brooklyn neighborhood, and said that the city’s shelved redesign of narrowing the roadway down to one lane would have stopped the driver speeding away from the initial fender bender before he hit the young moped rider.

The area’s elected representatives accused the mayor of sacrificing safety by delaying the vital revamp, in a joint statement Thursday evening.

“Sadly, this incident was entirely predictable and underscores once again why the McGuinness Boulevard redesign is so badly needed,” said the statement by Rep. Nydia Velázquez, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, Assemblymember Emily Gallagher, State Senator Kristen Gonzalez, and Council Member Lincoln Restler.

“Lives are being put at risk. We need immediate action by the mayor’s office to implement the Department of Transportation’s proposed safety improvements so that everyone in our community can feel confident that McGuinness Boulevard will not cause more tragedies.”

The mayor’s office responded with a statement previously issued before the mayor's flip-flop on the DOT plan.

"Traffic safety is a key priority for Mayor Adams," spokesman Charles Lutvak said. "Too many New Yorkers have been injured or lost their lives on McGuinness Boulevard, and the city has made significant safety improvements in recent years – both under the Adams administration and with Mayor Adams’ support when he was borough president. DOT has put forward a proposal to continue advancing that safety work. They have participated in dozens of meetings over multiple years and are continuing to refine the proposal as they receive feedback from the community."

Later in the day, a spokesman for Broadway Stages, Juda Engelmayer, sent over the following statement:

"If we can adequately regulate traffic flow and speed, slow down the vehicles and enforce driving, biking and scooter rules and safety, we can prevent and avoid more accidents [sic]. We pray for the victims of this accident and hope we can all work together to make sure they happen less and less."

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