Candlelight Vigil for Pedesrian Safety & Ella Bandes Memorial
Sunday, January 26, 4:30 pm, Myrtle & Wyckoff Avenues, Ridgewood, Queens
A year ago, Ella Kottick Bandes was struck and killed by a bus at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue, Wyckoff Avenue and Palmetto Street on the boundary between Ridgewood, Queens and Bushwick, Brooklyn. Please join Ella’s family, concerned residents of the community, Make Queens Safer and Make Brooklyn Safer for a vigil in her memory.
In addition to remembering Ella, we will be calling for action to be taken to improve this unsafe intersection. Action is clearly overdue: three streets converge at the intersection, visibility is poor due to the subway columns and overhead tracks, and it has long been a hotspot for motor vehicle crashes. As the sixth busiest subway station in Brooklyn and a major bus hub, it also has very high pedestrian volumes. The city has said that it is studying safety improvements, but progress has not yet been seen on the ground.
A large crowd braved a cold afternoon for this very moving event. Speakers included: Laura Newman, Make Queens Safer; Keegan Stephan, Right of Way; Hilda Cohen, Make Brooklyn Safer; Judith Kottick and Ken Bandes, parents of Ella Bandes; Amy Cohen, mother of Sammy Cohen Eckstein; Amy Tam, mother of Allison Liao; Marta Puruncajas, mother of Luis Bravo; Joy Clarke, mother of Renee Thompson; the Hon. Nily Rozic, NYS Assembly; the Hon. Maritza Davila, NYS Assembly; the Hon. Mark Weprin, NYC Council; the Hon. Elizabeth Crowley, NYC Council; the Hon. Antonio Reynoso, NYC Council; the Hon. Mike Gianaris, NYS Senate; the Hon. Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President; the Hon. Diana Reyna, Deputy Brooklyn Borough President; Barbara Campbell, NYS Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Dr. Kaushal Shah, Residency Training Director, Emergency Medicine, Mt. Sinai Hospital & Elmhurst Medical Center; Tad Carter; Daniel Hurewitz; Noor Fatima; the Venerable Miao Wei, International Buddhist Progressive Society; and Leslie Nuchow, Trisha Arlen and Tehila Wise, Congregation Kolot Chayeinu.
Thank you to all of the event sponsors, including: Make Brooklyn Safer, Make Queens Safer, Right of Way, Transportation Alternatives, StreetsPAC, Bay Ridge Advocates Keeping Everyone Safe (BRAKES), Clinton Hell’s Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety (CHEKPEDS), Park Slope Street Safety Partnership, Park Slope Parents, Brooklyn Heights Association, International Buddhist Progressive Society (IBPS), Elmhurst Hospital Center, Brain Injury Association of New York State, Congresswoman Grace Meng, and Councilmember Antonio Reynoso. And especially to the families of Ella, Allison, Luis, Sammy, and Renee, for sharing their stories and working to make NYC safer for everyone.
- Bill Parry, “Vigil held for Ridgewood traffic victim,” Times Ledger, January 30, 2014.
- Keith Williams, “Families, officials speak at vigil for traffic-violence victims” The Weekly Nabe, January 27, 2014.
- Stephen Miller, “At Vigil for Ella Bandes, a Plea to Put an End to Traffic Violence,” Streetsblog, January 27, 2014.
- Michael Herzenberg, “Dozens Call for Action As They Remember Woman Struck, Killed by Bus in Brooklyn,” NY1, January 27, 2014.
- Stav Ziv, “Pedestrian safety gets a push,” NY City Lens, January 27, 2014
- Magee Hickey, “Relatives of victims killed in NYC traffic accidents rally for change” WPIX 11, January 26, 2014
- Ali Wolf, “Pedestrian safety vigil held in Bushwick” News 12 Brooklyn, January 26, 2014
- Bill Parry, “Advocacy group’s fight against reckless drivers gains attention,” Times Ledger (January 10, 2014).
- Michaelle Bond, “Dangerous Bushwick Intersection to Get Safer Soon, Says DOT,” The Brooklyn Ink (April 19, 2013).
- Michaelle Bond, “Fatal Bushwick Accident Spurs Safety Push at Complex Intersection,” The Brooklyn Ink (April 11, 2013).
- Brad Aaron, “Ella Bandes, 23, Killed by MTA Bus Driver in Brooklyn; No Charges Filed” Streetsblog (February 13, 2013).
- Excellent photos of the event were captured by Dmitry Gudkov, Liz Patek, and Anna Zivarts
- Media Advisory
- Press Release