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Press Conference by Jamaica Muslim Center regarding the danger to the community that 168th street presents

April 29, 2014 , Jose Pinto Stephen


Jamaica, NY – The officers and members of the Jamaica Muslim Center (8537 168th St, Jamaica, NY 11432) organized a press conference in front of the JMC this Friday, 4/25, at 2:00PM to discuss one of the most dangerous roads in their community. 168th Street between Gothic Drive and Highland Avenue has long been reported as a dangerous street, with speeding vehicles in an area with high pedestrian density. On 4/22, a member of the JMC’s youth division, Mahmudur Sarkar, was struck by a speeding van, and he is now fighting to recover from multiple fractures and head injury. Local community and religious leaders, as well as elected officials were participated in Friday’s press conference.

This automobile accident occurred on April 22nd, 2014 at approximately 11:45 AM. Mahmudur Sarkar (belonging to JMC youth division) was walking on the sidewalk in front of Jamaica Muslim Center Street, and was about to meet his friends who were just a few yards away waiting for him to join to go to the JMC youth picnic. Suddenly he was hit by a speeding van and now he is fighting for his life at LIJ Hospital with serious wounds to his head and legs. The power of the impact is indicative how fast the driver was driving.

The Center has a praying place where congregants come five times a day. For Friday Service, over 2000 congregants gather. JMC has a full-time school up to 8th grade with over 150 students. Both congregants and students are constantly crossing the street. There are no speed limit signs or a speed breaker, nor any other device to slow down the traffic.

If measures are not taken to slow down the traffic, then such incidents will recur or even more fatal. This is a serious problem, which needs immediate attention.

Last year, concerned members of the community reached out to NYS Assemblyman David I. Weprin, who contacted the Department of Transportation and requested traffic-calming measures for 168th Street. However, the DOT has not yet acted on these requests.

What this community is asking from the authorities is simple and logical. Make this road safe by making it either one way or slow down the traffic through this road by posting signboards and or put speed breakers on the road. Members of this community

Is really looking forward to get a positive response from the authorities as soon as possible. Some of the leaders addressed at the press Conference were New York State District 24th Assemblyman David I Weprin, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Councilman Rory Lancman, Attorney Ali Nazmi, Attorney Munir Avery, Attorney Martha Taylor, Queens Borough South Asian Coordinator Mohammed Halk, Mohammed Akther Hussain (Mosque Secretary), Mazeda Uddin (Alliance of South Asian American Labor- ASAAL) and Thomas Koovalloor (Chairman, Justice For All).

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