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Fatal Queens Car Accident Spurs City to Look at Signage

The death of four college students in a car accident in Queens last week is prompting New York City to examine its signage policies. According to NY1, the city posted warning signs near the scene of the accident less than a year ago, but intends to review the signs to ensure that they are clear.

While they are at it, they might wish to examine the barricade at the end of the dead-end street where 19th Avenue meets Steinway Creek. According to a worker whose office is nearby, "That section hasn't been barricaded in 10 years." The metal guardrail that once protected the spot collapsed years ago and is invisible under the vines and bushes.

DOT workers moved a large concrete barrier to the spot where the guardrail once stood.

The car accident apparently occurred when the driver was attempting a stunt that involved spinning out at the end of the street. He sped past two signs warning of the dead end going at least 60 MPH. However, his car struck the curb and he lost control. Whether the vehicle flipped or skidded into the creek is not known.

What is known is that the driver was the only survivor of the crash. His four friends, whose windows were rolled up, were unable to get out of the car once it was underwater.

According to the DOT Commissioner, "We're going to take a real systematic evaluation of all the roadways that end at creeks or end at railroad tracks and take a look at the signage and make sure we're looking around and seeing what needs to be repaired," she said. Commissioner Trottenberg also encouraged New Yorkers report dangerous road and marking conditions by calling 311.


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