On June 27th, Astoria resident Betty Jean Dibiasio 21, was struck by a car while crossing Ditmars Boulevard on 19th street, and killed.
According to the Queens District Attorney’s office, 24-year-old Nicholas Colleran speedily ran a stop sign, hitting Dibiasio, and fleeing the scene; handing himself over to authorities the next day after falsely claiming his car had been stolen.
The accident struck a chord through Astoria residents, and calls for something to be done about it have been circulating ever since, especially since the corridor in question is used by family’s crossing over to the Park.
The Old Astoria Neighborhood Association has been pleading for the city to add speed bumps and a possible traffic light along Ditmars Boulevard from Shore Boulevard to 21st Street.
Petitions for traffic calming measures around the park have also been suggested by Councilman Costa Constantinides who stated the area has been a constant problem spot for speeding drivers.
A speed bump that was already added has seemed not to work as well as previously hoped along the Boulevard which has been plagued with fast motorists not paying attention, for many years.
Although emphasis on more speed bumps has been the central argument, The Old Astoria Neighborhood Association have requested that DOT (Department of Transportation) determine whether a traffic light – at the intersection of Ditmars Boulevard and 19th street – may also be a warranted measure. Only a stop sign stands at the location.
The corner where Betty Jean Dibiasio was struck is now filled with candles and flowers in memorial of the 21 year old.
We can only hope that the city acts efficiently, before another corner has to be adorned with flowers.