City makes changes to South Pearl St. after boy's death - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

City makes changes to South Pearl St. after boy's death


ALBANY, N.Y. - Pedestrians may have an easier time crossing South Pearl Street in Albany, as the city plans on creating new traffic signs and three crosswalks along the stretch that runs through the Ezra Prentice Homes.

The changes come after 7-year-old Qazir Sutherland died of his injuries after being struck by a car while trying to cross South Pearl Street last month.

After the boy's death, Qazir's family and community members pushed for the city to take action to make the neighborhood safer.

Albany Common Councilman Lester Freeman, who represents the south end, says plans are moving along but have been delayed because of the recent wet weather. He says he hopes the crosswalks will be in place by the end of the week, as long as the weather cooperates.

As for installing a traffic light, Councilman Freeman says it may take some time because it will be an expense coming out of the city's budget.

"It will happen. We will have a traffic light," Freeman said. "It's a matter of when it will take place. It may come at the last part of this whole project, I'm thinking."

Currently, there are two temporary electronic traffic signs put on both ends of South Pearl Street to alert drivers.

Qazir's mother, 32-year-old Falonda Haggray, says she is thankful for the outreach from the community and hopes that the work done will prevent another tragedy from happening.

"I just have memories to hold onto for right now," Haggray said. "But I see that my son's life in seven short years is making an impact for a better city."

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