Cuomo did not overreact to the Scajaquada tragedy
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s response to the tragic and avoidable death of a 3-year-old and permanent injuries to his sister in Delaware Park was completely appropriate.
Cuomo acted to protect both the people who inhabit Scajaquada Corridor and the state’s interests. Knowing there’s a safety problem, having the ability to fix it and failing to do so could make the state liable for resulting damages.
There have been nearly 30 stakeholder and public meetings over the last 15 years. The five or six I’ve attended had a strong majority calling for a safer, saner roadway.
The 2005 Expanded Project Proposal, which the Department of Transportation co-authored, documented that 25 percent of intersections and 50 percent of the main line on the Scajaquada have above average accident rates – especially the Parkside Avenue intersection near the tragic collision in the park, which accounts for about 30 percent of the total accidents.
The dangerous nature of the expressway was also exhibited in the April 9, 2014, public meeting accident graphic, which shows there were three similar accidents at the very location of the tragedy in the park that appear to have caused injury or death.
There are also unsafe conditions caused by the failed drainage system. After the Sept. 15, 2015, public meeting where the public once again called for a safer roadway, an effort was made to vacuum the storm sewers, but with the very next rain the expressway flooded again.
Cuomo didn’t overreact, he just forced long-overdue and necessary action, and that takes some getting used to.