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Levittown Teens Rally For Safer Hempstead Turnpike

The rally was organized by friends of the recently deceased Anthony D'Alessandro.

Anthony D'Alessandro's death inspired numerous Levittown teens to rally for a safer Hempstead Turnpike Saturday. 

According to News 12, the rally was organized by D'Alessandro's close friend James Fragella.

The teens also circulated a petition to get a pedestrian bridge installed across Hempstead Turnpike, according to News 12.

D'Alessandro was killed on April 4 while attempting to cross Hempstead Turnpike just past Division Avenue. He was 16.

His death is the second in as many years of a Levittown teen on the roadway. 19-year-old Peter Thearle died after being hit at the intersection of Hempstead Turnpike and Gardiners Avenue last June.

A recent survey by the Tri-State Transportation Corporation rated Hempstead Turnpike the most dangerous road in the tri-state area.

Last Tuesday, the Town of Hempstead passed legislation designed to make streets like Hempstead Turnpike safer.

Levittown resident Tom Caro met with state officials and politicians in March to make the case for safer streets.

Kim Halpin April 16, 2012 at 12:02 PM
I can't keep reading about this without commenting about the responsibility of most of the pedestrians in these accidents. A person can't just walk out into traffic, inattentive or under the influence and not in a controlled crosswalk without expecting something to happen. It isn't always the fault of the drivers. I've driven on the Turnpike almost everyday of my adult life with only one accident which was my fault....and I raised three kids who crossed it safely walking to and from high school without incidence. They were taught to use their judgment and cross when it's safe.
Mac April 16, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Good for these kids but it does not address the problem in eiher circumstance. Had alchol not been involved and/or these teens crossed safely at a crosswalk taking precautions both of these tragedies may have been avoided. It is truly sad but it seems we have a generation that does not take responsibilities for their actions. Sit back and blame big bad Hempstead Turnpike. How about the teens stop hanging out in front of 7-11 asking people to buy them beer. Unfortunately most teens will not learn from this as I have seen in the last week too many teens continuing with the behaviors that were part of both deaths right at the scene of the tragedy. Safety starts with the pedestrian and the decisions they make.
meplus3 April 16, 2012 at 12:41 PM
I think that is a great idea....the question is are the teenagers or anyone else for that matter going to use it???? there are plenty of times that i am driving and no one uses the designated cross walk. They all cross in the middle of the street. I would hate for money to spent on something that no one will use.
Chris Spencer April 16, 2012 at 12:51 PM
When I was younger, I was tanked, and after I drank near division, I'd have to walk home near center lane to where I live. I never had a problem crossing that street while intoxicated, I mean at 1am there is hardly any cars on the road too. I don't really understand how this happens, did these drivers not have their headlights on? I mean no disrespect, i agree it's the most dangerous street on long island, I just don't get how these kids couldn't see headlights, or at least one of his friends to say dude watch out or something (I heard a couple of people were there when it happend) it's really just the worst when a teen dies so young, it's horrifying that this is the second kid of the year to get hit and die. I like the idea of an above bridge crosswalk, but you have to take in a count for big trucks that won't hit it. Telephone poles ect. Overall I just don't get how those kids really get hit. Once again- no disrespect. I was just with a friend yesterday, we passed the pole, and started talking about it.
Curt April 16, 2012 at 01:25 PM
A pedestrian bridge is a good idea but will people actually use it? As it is too many people are too lazy to cross at a crosswalk. Also, if you want to improve pedestrian safety get rid of the red light cams. Rather than focusing on what is actually happening in the intersection drivers are focusing on if the light is going to change and snag them. Let's use Jerusalem as an example. You have a red light cam with a no turn on red. A person making a right will be less likely to stop for a crossing pedestrian because they do not want to be caught sitting in no mans land when the light changes. So rather than doing the safe thing they will cut off the crossing pedestrian in the median.
heyrock April 16, 2012 at 01:40 PM
It's terrible about this boy and all the other people who have died crossing the street.As a pedestrian I cross at the smaller intersections because they don't have turn signals and I see how people don't slow down or even wait to let people cross even in the crosswalk. Everyboby is in a hurry. However, as a driver, and I'm all over Levittown, people need to get there heads out of their butts and pay attention. I can't even tell you how many times people just walk in front of cars. They don't look and they assume you see them. I have seen parents with children do dashes and older, slower people try and beat the traffic crossing against the light they all do it the same way, they go fast the first lane and then kind of meander by the time they are in the third.What bothers me the most is parents walk in front of cars with their kids,especially in shopping centers. What happened to "look both ways before you cross" ? Anyway,my point is, you can build all the bridges you want but people have to use them and show some type of responsibility for their own safety. Pay attention crossing the street. Don't assume a driver sees you. It's you against the cars. The cars will always win.One more thing cause this really irks me, perfect example in Levittown about safety and we can put everything there but people have to use it, we have sidewalks for pedestrian safety, yet I constantly see people walking baby strollers in the street and dogs on the sidewalk.Whats up with that?
Marie April 16, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I agree whole heartedly that a bridge should be constructed on Hempstead Turnpike for safe crossing and in more then just one spot.
Mac April 16, 2012 at 04:18 PM
I have to say it really is a knee jerk reaction to build land bridges over the Turnpike. In levittown alone where would you start? Going across the turnpike start at Wantagh ave, then in succession Silver lane, Ranch lane, Gardiners , Southberry, center, division, Shelter and Wolcott. That is at least NINE bridges. These accidents are not occuring during the day but at night. School location should not be taken into account and I for one am not inclined to pay for a lnad bridge so teens can hang out in droves at 7-11 while trying to get beer. If these accidents occured because teens were going to or from school activities than a land bridge would hold more value. How about we educate these kids and teach them how to cross the street then the dangers? Pu tthe bridge there and they will still not use it. unfortunately the last two tragedies occured at night in between two crosswalks that were 100 feet at most away on both sides. Wake up and start educating. Streets are not dangerous people are!
joseph batewell April 16, 2012 at 05:38 PM
The powers that be will never spend the money it cost to erect a bridge so let's face reality. We can't fix what's already in place-i have a better idea: pay attention when walking near moving vehicles. You cannot take for granted that some people can see at night while driving or the car they drive has good brakes or other factors such as darkness or weather-safety 1st
Mom of 3 April 16, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Though I applaud their efforts, will the bridges actually be used?! Most of the pedestrians that were struck (in Levittown) were not crossing in the crosswalk and did not utilize the traffic signals. I really do not believe that they would have used a bridge to cross as it would have required the same effort and caution as crossing at the traffic signal. The latest incident reported that the kids were hanging out and then ran to go across Hempstead Tpke. Mac is right, I also think the responsibilty lies with the parent to educate their kids. Additionally, you should know where your kids are. One of the parents on tv complained that the kids have no where to hang out. How about in your yard or your home! My kids were never allowed to hang out. They knew that I would find them!
Robert Demarco April 16, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Bridges are not the answer. People crossing the street need to pay attention. That means no texting, cellphones, etc. Cross where there is a traffic light, not in the middle of a busy street where it is difficult to judge speed and distance of oncoming vehicles. Drivers also must slow down and be alert, knowing that there could be pedestrians. We all have to be responsible for our own safety. It is a tragedy about this kid, for his family and friends, and also for the driver of the vehicle.
Chris April 16, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Underage drinking should be under the microscope here, not a bridge that will not get used. It will become a waste of tax payers money that no one uses but kids for shelter while drinking and the homeless. These accidents happened because of under age drinking. Fix that first.
Mom of 3 April 16, 2012 at 10:32 PM
You are so right! When I mentioned the underage drinking in my post after the latest tragedy, my comment was deleted! I feel sorry for the young man and his family but the underage drinking is an issue.
Roxanne Roo April 16, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Oh by all means, build a pedestrian bridge on the tax payers back! Give the young darlings a nice weatherproof place to get high and screw around. Wonderful idea!
mallory kundert April 17, 2012 at 12:51 AM
As a close friend to anthonys. i was at this rally and we do need this, Anthony was not under the influence & if he did does that make it right? hes still a kid that passed away. hes death has made an impact on all of us. How do people comment on here and dont know what they are talking about or accuse of a 16 year old kid dying from a horrible accident. its a shame this kid didnt deserve any of this.An underage drinking is not the issue here, the people that on hempstead turnpike is the issue, ive been by his pole everyday & people still fly by so dont miss juge this accident anthony was not drunk or under the influence. miss you more then ever dont worry i know youre above me watching over me love you<3
Mom of 3 April 17, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Mallory I am sorry that your friend died. As for the underage drinking, channel 12 reported that it had taken place in the sump prior to Anthony's death. No, he did not deserve to die so young and yes people speed up and down the turnpike......but the best thing that can come out of this tragedy is that everyone becomes more cautious. Pedestrians need to cross at the traffic signals and not in the middle of the block. They can't trust that a vehicle will see them or be able to stop. Drivers need to slow down and become more aware. Again, I am very sorry that Anthony died. Honor him by making a difference and setting an example of the importance of using caution when crossing. May he rest in peace and may his family and the driver of the car find solace.
Mac April 17, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Mallory you are correct he didn't deserve what happened regardless of the circumstance. Reported eyewitness account and police reported that the crossing was clearly jaywalking which is a violation in itself. Still Anthony didn't deserve it. I ask why couldn't he walk the fifty or so feet to his right or left to the crosswalk? Forget everything else and realize that Anthony himself also had part in this horrible tragedy. Please take the time and urge your friends to cross any street with care and diligence. All it takes is one mistake. And yes underage drinking is problematic. The 7-11 has become a teen hangout where many beg people to buy them beer. Learn from this and please be safe because the pedestrian will always lose to the vehicle.
Chris Spencer April 17, 2012 at 04:56 AM
So your saying he wasn't drunk and got hit by a car at night? He didn't check both ways? Or see headlights? Theryres not even a hill coming eastbound to where he got hit. I mean if it was at loring road at least you can say the hill from the bridge over the wantaugh prky blocked the headlights. It's involuntary for a sober person to look both ways. Why did he get hit then if he wasn't under the influence. Just trying to put the peices together of exactly what went down. Once again my prayers go out to his family and the driver. She has to live with this for the rest of her life.
JF April 17, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Again people we are talking about a 16 year old boy. The fact that one girl interviewed said that he was drinking was Bull... Let me ask you this If he was in sump as so many have stated why was he struck in the West bound lanes. The girl interviewed said he was leaving the sump and going across when struck when in fact he was coming from opposite side heading to the sump.. Just saying get facts straight before you judge. And to get back on subject the fact is this road has been named deadliest road for pedestrians around period. I dont remember hearing only if you were drunk. For you people to say that these kids are all trying to get drunk or they would only use the bridge to hide to get drunk are wrong. I saw dozens of faces at rally that will never forget what happened to Anthony and because of that they would use this bridge...
Mom of 3 April 17, 2012 at 03:04 PM
JF, they may use the bridge initially but then the "novelty" will wear off. Many of these pedestrians were not crossing in a crosswalk at a traffic signal. What makes you think that they will walk the extra distance to the bridge when they didn't utilize the traffic signals to begin with? The young man did not deserve to die but caution might have saved him.
Mac April 17, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Jf I wonder how many of these accidents occurred when the pedestrians were crossing at the crosswalk and using good safety while crossing. The bridge is a unrealistic costly knee jerk reaction. If either of the teens were cautious and use the crosswalk these tragedies may not have happened. As far as these kids remembering what happened just last night I witnessed to boys ride skateboards across the turnpike to see the memorial in the same spot the boy was struck. Last week about a day after two boys walked in front of the stopped bus by the memorial into the stret put their hands up to stop traffic then when the motorist beeped gave him the finger. They may never forget what happened because a boy died but they need to also be aware of the dangers when not being safe. That goes for sober or drink makes no difference. Please tell me where you would want the bridge and it's purpose. The turnpike would need about a dozen land bridges. Pedestrians need to be more responsible for their actions as do motorists.
DK April 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM
While the bridge sounds like a good-hearted idea, it isn't logical. People are not going to walk a quarter mile out of the way just to cross a bridge and walk another quarter mile back to where they were trying to cross to. Or any amount of distance for that matter. You'd still have people just crossing where they want, and tax money wasted.
Levittown Taxi June 20, 2012 at 01:05 AM
If Anthony was not under any the influence, Why was it reported by the NCPD at the library regarding the proposed Levittown North Bowling location property? At the meeting they repoted that he was.

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