The tragic death of 14-year-old Mohammad Naiem Uddin, who was killed in a hit-and-run in November 2014, will forever haunt his loved ones, but they can take some solace that he did not die in vain.
That after City Council Member Brad Lander (Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) yesterday joined representatives from the City’s Department of Transportation and concerned neighbors to cut the ribbon on a new traffic signal on the corner of Caton Avenue and E. 8th Street, the most recent of many improvements made to traffic safety in the surrounding area.
The corner is just one block from where Uden was struck down in front of what is now the newly constructed building for MS 839 and PS 130 Upper School. Additionally Caton Avenue is one of Brooklyn’s designated truck routes meaning 16-wheelers and other heavy trucks use the roadway to go cross-borough into Queens.
“It will always be too late for Naiem Uddin, but in the past year and a half, we have done everything we can to honor his memory by making sure all children are safer along Caton Avenue,” said Lander. “Out of this tragedy, our community has come together to rally for better street safety throughout Kensington and Windsor Terrace, and through extensive work with NYC DOT, we have made real improvements for pedestrians in the area. So many parts of our community have come together — parents from PS 130, PS 230, and the new MS 839, long-time residents and leaders with the Albemarle Neighborhood Association, the Bangladeshi community — to push for change.”
The ribbon cutting celebrated both the installation of the new traffic signal, and the broader street safety improvements that have been made throughout the area, including:
- Improvements to the stretch of Caton Avenue from Ocean Parkway to Coney Island Avenue, where MS 839 and the PS 130 Upper School is located, including:
o Converting the corridor to one lane in each direction
o Adding three new pedestrian islands to shorten crossing distances
o A new traffic signal on Caton and East 8th street
o Upgrading visibility and safety at cross walks by “daylighting” and adding curb extensions
Several parents and school officials also welcomed the new street light and traffic calming measures.
“Traffic safety has been a huge concern for our community even before the heartbreaking loss of much beloved PS 130 graduate, Naim Uddin,” said Meema Spadola, a PS 130 parent. “Councilmember Lander and his staff have been so responsive—facilitating community meetings with DOT; pressing for traffic calming measures; and advocating for adequate school crossing guard coverage, which continues to be a serious problem throughout the City. As a PS 130 parent and PTA member, I look forward to a continued partnership to ensure that this neighborhood is safe for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.”
A full list of recent street safety improvements throughout the neighborhood is available on the Kensington Windsor Terrace Street Safety tracker, a tool designed to increase transparency for area street safety projects and ensure a timely completion.