The driver who fatally ran over a 28-year-old web designer in Greenpoint last Sunday remains at large, but many people in the neighborhood say the street where the accident took place is guilty, too. Williamsburg resident Neil Chamberlain was killed by a driver who sped onto Calyer Street from McGuinness Boulevard, a stretch of road so notorious for reckless driving that local activists have been studying it since last month. According to their observations, McGuinness is Brooklyn's answer to Queens Boulevard, AKA The Boulevard of Death.
"Lawless driving is a constant condition of McGuinness," Jessie Singer of Transportation Alternatives, which has been studying the boulevard with Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, tells the Daily News. "Moving violations run rampant, and the result is lives lost." According to their research, drivers violate traffic laws every 17 seconds at Nassau Avenue, where Solange Raulston was killed by a truck driver while riding her bike in December. Over the course of eight hours, volunteers observed drivers running red lights 150 times, talking on cell phones 89 times, and failing to yield to pedestrians 114 times.
City Councilman Steve Levin is calling for tougher enforcement in the area, and tells the News, "I pass this intersection quite often, and I have witnessed many nearly fatal incidents." Meanwhile, friends of Chamberlain have been mourning the most recent fatality. "It's been really rough. He was a completely unique individual," says one friend, Annegret Falkner. "At first we just [heard] it was a freak hit-and-run, but when I found out it was on McGuinness, it made way more sense."