Remembering Ella Bandes at a Dangerous Intersection in Ridgewood

Candlelight Vigil for Pedesrian Safety & Ella Bandes Memorial
Sunday, January 26, 4:30 pm, Myrtle & Wyckoff Avenues, Ridgewood, Queens

MyrtleA 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.

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