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New Haven residents, Yale students demand action to make dangerous intersection safer for foot traffic, cyclists

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The New Haven community is calling on Mayor Justin Elicker to make a busy intersection safer.

The mayor met with the Safe Streets Coalition of New Haven, residents, and Yale law students Wednesday after another pedestrian was killed Tuesday night in the Elm City while riding his bike at York Street and South Frontage Road. The crowd said speeding and reckless driving are major problems in New Haven that need to be addressed.

Keonho Lim, 25, was the 13th person to be fatally struck by a vehicle, walking or biking just this year.

“Our friend died because someone was taking a right turn when he was going straight. The infrastructure of that street is not set up in a way that is conducive or safe to pedestrians that is an infrastructure issue…so I’m wondering what’s the hold-up?”

Pedestrians have complained about the intersection at York Street and South Frontage Road for years.

In 2017, a 42-year-old woman was killed there. A News 8 investigation at that time found that pedestrians had been hit 2-3 times a year in that area. And, a Yale Medical Student died while crossing the intersection back in 2008.

During Wednesday’s meeting at East Rock Park, Mayor Elicker engaged in a back and forth answering questions about ‘Vision Zero,’ a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities.

The mayor is calling on Yale University and surrounding suburbs to play more of a role in helping the city achieve its goals of improving the streets.

Mayor Elicker said, “New Haven has an inordinate burden: the suburban towns and organizations like a university and the hospital do not pay what I believe is their fair share, especially at this time. We were talking about systemic racism and deep injustices and income inequality. Those institutions have the capacity to actually make a real difference in the problems that we’re facing.”

And that funding can’t come at a better time. The mayor says due to the pandemic, the city’s funding for infrastructure this year is about half-a-million dollars. Next year, they should be seeing some bigger projects, and the funding they expect to receive will be in the $3-5 million range.

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