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Community Calls For Improved Safety Measures At Brooklyn Intersection

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After a pedestrian was struck and killed by a city bus while crossing the street, there are calls for improved safety measures to the busy intersection. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

One side of Myrtle Avenue is in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. The other side is in the Ridgewood section of Queens.

The L train runs underground. The M train runs above. Three roadways intersect: Palmetto Street, Myrtle Avenue and Wyckoff Avenues. Six bus lines pass through, and out-of-service buses head to the nearby depot.

It all makes for busy, complex and dangerous crossing.

"It's a little bit crazy," said one person.

"There are so many intersections here," said another.

There are also many accidents. Police records show that there were 18 in 2011. In 2012, there were 17. And so far this year, there are already five, including one fatality. 23-year-old Ella Bandes was struck by a bus while crossing the street on January 31 and never recovered.

"It was just one of the most unbelievable experiences you could possibly imagine, having to make the decision to take your child off life support, and that that was going to be the end, just because she had gotten hit by a bus," said Judy Kottick, Ella Bandes' mother.

"Such a senseless way to lose a life," said Ken Bandes, Ella Bandes' father.

Now, her parents are asking for something to be done. City Councilwoman Diana Reyna, who represents the area, is asking the New York City Department of Transportation to step in.

"Lighting here is terrible, and there needs to be an investigation regarding what are some of the improvements that are necessary and important before we lose another life," Reyna said.

Ella was struck late at night, when lighting gets dark and much of the paint for the crosswalks is faded away.

"The streets are not marked well enough, and people are crossing the street," said one bus driver. "It is hazardous."

Back in 2009, another pedestrian was killed at the same intersection.

"Those crashes are preventable, and they can be fixed with a new road design or new signage," said Juan Martinez of Transportation Alternatives.

DOT told NY1 that it's received requests from Reyna and the Myrtle Avenue Ridgewood BID for pedestrian countdown signals for the area, and will be conducting a comprehensive analysis to see what safety measures should be implemented to prevent the loss of another life like Ella's.

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