“Yield to pedestrian” signs installed

By fighting for safety signage at a busy intersection that claimed the life of his mother in a horrible auto accident more than a year ago, Robert Pace can now claim a small victory by making the intersection safer for pedestrians in the future.

Pace won his fight recently for the installation of two “yield to pedestrian” signs at the corners of Eastchester Road and Astor Avenue. His 81-year-old mother Carmela Pace was hit by a truck at the intersection in May 2009.

The new signs now at the corners of the busy intersection, which Pace said is a common scene for accidents and needed better signage, were put in place after he reached out to Senator Jeff Klein’s office. Klein sympathized with Pace’s loss and was concerned with the safety of the community. He requested that the city Department of Transportation look into installing better traffic controls and signage at the location. Pace pushed the issue.

“I wanted to do something because I didn’t want another person to lose a mother, grandmother, or a sister at this intersection,” Pace said. “I didn’t want anyone else to feel the way I did.”

Pace said that his mother had always been very cautious at the intersection, and the day of the accident she was clipped in the leg by a truck as she crossed the street. He described his mother as a caring person who took care of an aunt who is suffering from dementia.

At first, Pace said that he thought the solution might be the installation of speed bumps, but because Eastchester Road is a bus route it could not be done. The DOT inspected the intersection and conducted a traffic study. After the study, DOT officials determined they could install a high visibility crosswalk.

Unsatisfied with just a more visible crosswalk, Klein requested that the DOT install “yield to pedestrian” signs as well. The DOT determined that they were feasible and soon after installed new signage at the crosswalk where Pace was struck.

“Another intersection just two blocks north of Astor Avenue and Eastchester Road, at Mace Avenue, was recently named by the American Association of Retired People as one of the 50 sites in the city that pose the most danger for senior pedestrians. Pace was grateful and said that Klein worked to make the stretch of Eastchester Road safer.

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