ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Some Albuquerque residents are pleading with the city to slow down traffic along Central. They made their case at Monday’s city council meeting.
Friends of the family say their hearts remain heavy and hope something can be done to prevent another tragedy like this from happening. “My son is Pronoy’s best friend. They were best friends since they were like 18 months old. He had his best friend taken from him in this tragic accident,” shares Rebecca Struver, a former neighbor of the Bhattacharya family.
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Pronoy was walking with his family in the crosswalk on Central Ave. at Tingley Dr. on Dec. 12 when police say an off-road vehicle ran a red light, hitting him and his father before fleeing the scene. Pronoy didn’t survive. “We can’t take that loss and that grief and that hole away from the family but we need to do something,” said Stuver.
Jeannie Humphrey is the PTA president at Georgia O’Keeffe Elementary School, where the 7-year-old attended school. She wants city councilors to make it safer for pedestrians near the BioPark.
“I am basically going to ask them to send out a city engineer in order to evaluate the situation and hopefully to make a plan of action along with a timeline and a budget,” Humphrey said.
Humphrey has been communicating with city councilors on the issue and the city says there are plans in place. Lawrence Rael is the city’s chief operations officer. “We had begun a process of doing a safety corridor study of that area which would be from New York Avenue if you will, by the BioPark all the way through the river along central to look at opportunities to some calming, if you will, structures in the corridor.”
Councilor Isaac Benton also says he is requesting permanent speed cameras in the area of the BioPark, and pedestrian speed tables and is funding street trees in an effort to slow traffic down.
“The asset of the Biopark that he has in his district doesn’t only affect his constituents, it affects all of Albuquerque in fact it really affects the entire state right? People come from all over the state, especially for these special events and so I think it’s important to be part of the government to talk to your city councilors,” Humphrey said.
The community continues to remember and honor Pronoy as the smart, kindhearted boy he was. “He would have done absolutely incredible things in this world and I am so sad that we don’t get to witness that.”
Jeannie Humphrey is encouraging people to write to their city councilors asking for support on these traffic calming efforts. Sergio Almanza, the ATV driver accused of hitting and killing Pronoy, will be held behind bars until trial.