Today’s news:

Family of collision victim Jackson McLeer vow to move

Family of 14-year-old victim: Time to fix Fourth Avenue

Brooklyn Daily

A hit-and-run driver sent a 14-year-old Ridgite to the hospital on Sept. 11 — and is sending his family out of the neighborhood.

A sedan struck Jackson McLeer at the corner of 86th Street and Fourth Avenue at 5 pm, then sped off. McLeer’s father said the Fort Hamilton High School student was darting out into the avenue to catch a bus when the vehicle hit him. Ambulances took the young football player to Lutheran Medical Center, where he received treatment for a broken hip and a laceration on his liver.

The teen returned home on Sept. 14 — but his father said the family won’t be calling their native Bay Ridge home much longer.

“We’ve been deciding it for a while, but this really just put a cap on it,” said Adam McLeer, adding that the family has yet to choose where they are moving.

Hit-and-run drivers have haunted the McLeer family for three generations. In 1994, a motorist killed Adam McLeer’s mother and sister at the corner of 92nd Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway before speeding away. He said the highway horrors were a major factor in the decision to leave the neighborhood.

“We’re Brooklyn people all our lives, but the streets are getting too crowded. It’s just overpopulated and the cars are just too much,” the elder McLeer said.

The city has targeted the 86th Street and Fourth Avenue intersection for a radical overhaul. The Department of Transportation’s designs call for installing a concrete pedestrian island in the corridor on the side nearest the Verazanno Bridge — the same side where the driver hit Jackson McLeer — and for reducing the roadway to one lane in each direction between 86th Street and Ovington Avenue. Several members of Bay Ridge’s Community Board 10 have attacked the plan, and the neighborhood panel decided against approving it in June, postponing the vote until October. The father of the convalescing adolescent said he supported the measures.

“Anything that slows people down,” McLeer said — though he said increased street safety would probably not change his mind about moving.

McLeer joins a number of other victims of the corridor who have spoken in favor of the revamp, including Cindy Deng, daughter-in-law of the woman killed by a Cadillac in May.

A car struck and killed another woman at 86th and Fourth in April.

McLeer asks anyone with information about the collision that injured his son to call the 68th Precinct at (718) 439–4211.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him attwitter.com/WillBredderman.

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Hilda from Ft. Greene says:
I am wishing the McLeer family all the best, hearing about the history of this family really saddens me. But more than anything it frustrates me and angers me that this will continue to happen and will only grow worse as here is little to no enforcement to maintain safe streets. I am completely behind the design changes which are absolutely needed, but design changes need ENFORCEMENT in order to change driver behavior overall. Negligence and incompetence behind the wheel, as well as recklessness is often the cause of these tragedies, and until these conditions are acknowledged as such instead of just calling them 'accidents', there will be no change.
Brooklyn Paper could start by framing the incident more evenly. Stating that the boy 'darted' out without noting any other condition is biased, which is the way any collision in NYC is addressed unless we work to change that.
Sept. 19, 2013, 11:09 am
Miguel from Bay Ridge says:
I'll tell you what will stop speeders and other violations n Bay Ridge and that is to make the cops do their job. Cops in Bay Ridge have gotten too lazy and are just about useless unless you need some tickets given out.

I see them is in the morning when they start and they make their way to the nearest Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or bagel place. And they park wherever they please without regard to traffic.

You'll see them at lunchtime and again when 2nd shift starts and they go to get their coffee or whatever.

You'll see them on the corner of 86th and 5th avenue waiting for someone who missed the No Left turn sign.

They'll be at UPS trucks who double park for deliveries, but try to get through 3rd or 5th Avenues when those trucks are double and triple parked.

You WON'T see them driving around chasing speeders or drivers who run red lights and stop signs.

So instead of having cops do their jobs, we'll keep spending money on cameras for speeding and now on buses, for speed bumps, cones and other things to do the job cops would be doing.

All that's needed is for a few of them to do their job driving around the neighborhood instead of being parked someplace chewing the fat or sleeping.

I'm sure they'll say I'm full of it, but just ask some of your neighbors, they'll say the same.

It's simple, we need cops who WORK.
Sept. 19, 2013, 1:32 pm
James from Bay Ridge says:
I remember when that happened to Adam McLeer’s mother at 92nd and Ft. Hamilton. I was in school up the block at PS 104.

This is disgraceful. The city is trying to improve a highly dense and pedestrian area (86th and 4th), and all the CB does is balk at change or or just make exaggerated claims without any studies. 4th ave. should be reoriented for pedestrian safety, not to allow what is currently illegal speeding. The Cb offers no solutions and doesn't seem to want to accept data from the DOT. Pretty sad situation here in bay ridge.
Sept. 19, 2013, 2:05 pm
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Miguel, do you really want to see speeding police cars chasing speeders along fourth Avenue? With the kind of congestion we have on our city streets, you know it's not going to end well. There are many reasons why people speed and I'm not apologizing for them but we live in a congested city and we have many rude people who think nothing of double parking on major thoroughfares because they're too lazy to look for a parking space causing even more congestion. Police are not allowed to chase speeders because history shows when a desperate driver tries to evade the police, statistically they're going to get into an accident and kill innocent people.
Sept. 19, 2013, 5:38 pm
John from Bay Ridge says:
Bob, the answer to the question you posed to Miguel is "yes", I want cops to pull over cars speeding on 4th Avenue. Every single day. That will change behavior. I also want speed cameras, red light cameras and speed bumps near schools, among other things. Other precincts near Bay Ridge (the one in Bensonhurst for example) issue far more speeding tickets than the 68th does. the reason why is that the commander in the Bensonhurst precinct has made enforcement of speeding and reckless driving a priority. Police pull over speeders all the time, when they are willing to put in the effort to do so. We need cops and a commander in the 68 that make this a priority.
Sept. 20, 2013, 10:20 am
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
John, I think those are all great ideas. Obviously from my handle you know I don't live in Bay Ridge but I have speeders in my neighborhood also. I also know statistically when a police car chases a speeding automobile, it usually does not end well and many times innocent people are killed. Cameras are a great idea but speed bumps on fourth Avenue? I think not. Unfortunately for Bay Ridge fourth Avenue is a major artery and if this city would've built a tunnel under third Avenue as was proposed over 20 years ago, surface traffic very well may have been manageable and able to travel at a more leisurely pace. I guess that's a conversation for another time.
Sept. 20, 2013, 5:42 pm
Alex from Park Slope says:
Bob, very few speeding ticket stops result in a high speed chase to catch the driver. You're absolutely right that the police should avoid engaging in such chases, but it's a pretty minor concern when you're talking about traffic enforcement. As for getting cars to drive at a more "leisurely pace" the secret to that is to calm the traffic by reducing road width, adding cross walks, and timing lights to slow vehicles where possible. Putting the BQE underground wouldn't do any of that. And I fully agree with John that speed and red light cameras are an excellent tool in making sure cars are obeying the laws. They're on duty 24/7 and never cause a chase.
Sept. 21, 2013, 5:30 pm

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