Officials looking at South Pearl Street traffic solutions - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Officials looking at South Pearl Street traffic solutions

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ALBANY, N.Y. -- The city of Albany is stepping up efforts to slow down traffic on South Pearl Street after 7-year-old Qazir Sutherland was struck by a car over the weekend, later dying of his injuries.

Police have been patrolling both ends of the stretch on South Pearl Street, and after Community members voiced their concerns in a common council meeting Monday night, digital signs were placed on both ends of South Pearl Street, reminding drivers that school is out and to drive safely.

Mayor Jerry Jennings came down with the city's traffic engineer Tuesday to talk to residents and figure out what needs to be put in place to make it easier for pedestrians to cross the street.

The mayor says the city plans to conduct a traffic study to see where it will be best to place crosswalks and a traffic light. Although plans are in the preliminary stages, Jennings says it will move quickly.

There is also the idea to hold a forum to educate the young children playing out in the neighborhood.

"I've also talked to Steve Langa of the Housing Authority. There's over 150 young children 12 or under living here. He has agreed an educational forum would be good on traffic safety how you travel that type of thing. So well put it all together," said the mayor.

Councilman Lester Freeman also visited with neighbors. He represents the neighborhood on the south end of Pearl Street, and the young boy has changed his community for the better.

"As I was telling the mother, sometimes God takes the bravest soldiers among for change to happen. But I know Qazir is looking down smiling," said Freeman.

But he tells the NEWS CENTER there's still a lot of work to be done.

"We'll get up the signs for the speed limit too. But they had to come see the area and that's the most important part," said Freeman.

Currently there are no visible speed limit signs on South Pearl Street, but Mayor Jennings says the speed limit is 30 MPH. 

And although there's a traffic light on the corner of Pearl and Mt. Hope Drive, residents say another problem is when children have to cross the road for the bus stop.

Crystal McFadden says she's concerned for the kids in the morning and afternoon as they get on and off the school bus. She says she walks her daughter to the bus stop every morning.

"I come out into the middle of the street and cross her and other kids," she said.

McFadden says there are times when children get on the bus and cars will not stop even when the bus has its lights on. She hopes the city considers getting a crossing guard.

 

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