On November 21st, 2014, 14-year-old Mohammed Naeim Uddin was crossing the street a block from his home in Kensington when a driver struck him with her vehicle and fled the scene. Police later identified the driver as 78-year-old Lynn Reynolds and charged her with leaving the scene of an accident causing serious injury, failing to exercise due care, and violating the right of way of a pedestrian in the crosswalk—but that didn't change the fact that Uddin, who was a freshman in high school, died from critical injuries. Yesterday, the city unveiled the first set of changes to come to the neighborhood where Uddin was killed, including a new traffic light and curb extensions near where the fatal collision happened.

The new traffic light is on the corner of Caton Avenue and East 8th Street, a block from where Uddin was killed at the intersection of Caton and East 7th. That's right by the newly-constructed building for MS 839 and PS 130's Upper School—Uddin attended Brooklyn Tech for high school, but went to PS 130 for elementary school.

Just a couple weeks before the fatality, City Councilmember Brad Lander had written a letter to DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, expressing concerns about safety at the very intersection where the collision happened. Following Uddin's death, parents from PS 130 and the nearby PS 230 launched a campaign to flood 311 with complaints about street safety in the area, and not long after, the Department of Transportation finally came out with a plan for improvements.

"It will always be too late for Naiem Uddin, but in the past year and a half, we have done everything we can to honor his memory by making sure all children are safer along Caton Avenue," Lander said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the traffic signal yesterday, adding, "We still have work to do to make our streets in Kensington and Windsor Terrace even safer, but today we can take solemn pride in the steps we've taken to honor Naiem's memory by making our streets safer for all."

The three-block stretch of Caton Avenue between Ocean Parkway and Coney Island Avenue has also been converted to a one-lane street in both directions, whereas before it had two lanes going in each direction. Three new pedestrian islands have been added along that stretch to shorten crossing distances, and the crosswalks have received curb extensions, as well as daylighting. In total, the stretch has seen 99 collisions since 2012, resulting in 19 injuries and one fatality—Uddin's. A number of other safety improvements are planned for the area, and Lander has created a tracker monitoring their progress.

Uddin was remembered as a quiet, artistic teen who loved photography and was a role model to his younger brother, who was four years old at the time of the fatal crash. The driver who killed him, Lynn Reynolds, is next due in court on May 24th, 2016. Her arrest was a rarity: according to a report issued last year by Transportation Alternatives, fewer than 1% of drivers involved in about 4,000 hit-and-run crashes in 2015 resulting in injury or death were charged with a crime. In a notable dichotomy, police have yet to arrest or charge the driver who struck and killed a three-year-old girl in the Bronx earlier this week.