On Friday, the city announced its plans to allocate $39 million for a complete redesign of McGuinness Boulevard in Greenpoint.
The decision was prompted by the death of Matthew Jensen, a Greenpoint elementary school teacher and resident, who was struck and killed by a black Rolls Royce at the corner of McGuinness Boulevard and Bayard Street a block away from the BQE entrance/exit ramp on May 18.
Jensen was on the way home from his own birthday party at the time of the crash. The driver was never found.
Heartbroken members of the community called on the city for accountability. Multiple elected officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, attended a vigil in Jensen’s honor at McGolrick Park. At the event, the mayor expressed his commitment to fix the deadly thoroughfare .
De Blasio followed through with that commitment this past Friday by issuing a statement announcing the new funding.
“Vision Zero has made New York City safer and more livable, but its work isn’t finished until corridors like McGuinness Boulevard are improved for everyone who uses them,” the mayor wrote. “We can change this city’s streets for the better and forge a better Greenpoint for generations of Brooklynites to come.”
Other politicians released their own statements praising the funding and plan to redesign the deadly street.
“The mayor’s historic investment will restore a basic right to our community: the freedom to cross the street without fear of death or injury,” wrote Assemblywoman Emily Gallagher.
“McGuinness Boulevard has long symbolized the deadly consequences of infrastructure that prioritizes speeding cars and trucks over human life,” she added. “That changes now. I am so proud of this community for coming together in the aftermath of tragedy after tragedy to demand change. Let’s get to work.”
The Transportation Committee of Community Board 1 recently voted in favor of a full redesign for McGuinness Boulevard.
“While we were greatly saddened by the tragic loss of our esteemed educator, we are inspired by the quick hand of our mayor to address this issue and ensure that action is taken so that the residents and visitors to Community Board 1 remain safe in their travels,” wrote Community Board 1 chair Dealice Fuller.
The NYPD is currently seeking tips about the hit-and-run. Anyone with information is urged to call the CrimeStoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) . You can also submit tips on Twitter at @NYPDTips.