Originally Posted on December 10, 2014 

New Safety Measures Are Result of Strong Collaboration between the Department of Transportation, Council Member Chin and Lower East Side residents

Today, City Council Member Margaret Chin and Lower East Side tenants praised the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) for working with the community and taking new steps to improve pedestrian safety along South Street.

The Lower East Side community was shocked and saddened when Shu Fan Huang was hit and killed by a car at the intersection of Rutgers and South Streets on August 28. Following the tragic death, Council Member Chin immediately began discussions with DOT Lower Manhattan Borough Commissioner Luis Sanchez to call for street safety improvements around that area. In association with the Two Bridges Tower (82 Rutgers Slip) Tenant Association, Council Member Chin and Borough Commissioner Sanchez also met directly with Lower East Side tenants to get their input on the need for pedestrian safety improvements.

On October 23, Council Member Chin also sent a letter to DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, to request new signage along South Street to make drivers more aware of the city’s new 25 mph default speed limit, which went into effect on November 7.

As a result of this fruitful collaboration with the community, DOT recently announced that new speed limit signage has been installed along South Street, and new countdown clocks for pedestrian signals will soon be installed at several intersections along and around South Street. DOT has also already completed repainting the pavement markings along South Street, from Montgomery Street to the Brooklyn Bridge. In addition, DOT has stated that it is studying the potential for further street safety improvements around that area.

  • New 25 mph speed limit signs have been installed at the southbound exit of the FDR Drive leading to Montgomery Street, and on the southbound side of South Street, approaching Rutgers Street.
  • Pavement markings were repainted along South Street, between Montgomery Street and the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • New countdown clocks for pedestrian signals will be installed within the coming weeks at South Street and Market Slip, South Street and Pike Slip, South Street and Montgomery Street, and Pike Street and Cherry Street.

“I’m very pleased to see the Department of Transportation taking action to improve pedestrian safety around South Street by installing new speed limit signage and countdown signals, as well as considering additional safety measures around that area,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “Several months ago, Lower East Side residents were shocked and saddened by the death of Shu Fan Huang at Rutgers and South Streets, and I joined the community in strongly calling for street safety improvements, including new signage and more pedestrian-friendly signals. I thank DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and DOT Lower Manhattan Borough Commissioner Luis Sanchez for answering the call and showing their commitment to street safety, and I look forward to continuing to work with DOT and our Lower East Side community to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.”

“Council Member Chin is a strong advocate for her district and we collaborated immediately after the fatality at Rutgers and South Streets to identify improvements for the South Street area,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “These enhancements added by DOT demonstrate our commitment to working with community leaders to improve safety in their neighborhoods.”

“We are very appreciative of the initial steps DOT has taken to address the safety issues along the South Street corridor,” said Trever Holland, founding board member of Tenants United Fighting for the Lower East Side (TUFF-LES) and president of the Two Bridges Tower Tenant Association. “The repainted pavement markings along with the new speed limit signs have already given residents a greater sense of safety when crossing South Street. We thank Council Member Margaret Chin’s office, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and DOT Lower Manhattan Borough Commissioner Luis Sanchez for their responsiveness, and we look forward to continuing the effort to make the South St. area safe for everyone.”