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Bayside boy’s memorial hits snag in state capitol

Legislation to name the pedestrian bridge at 46th Avenue and the Clearview Expressway where a Bayside boy on his bike was killed in a car accident in August 2000 has been stalled on Gov. George Pataki’s desk this month.

While Community Board 11 in Little Neck and the state Assembly and Senate each approved measures to name the 46th Avenue pedestrian bridge for Christopher Scott earlier this year, Pataki had not followed suit as of press time Tuesday, a spokeswoman for state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) said this week.

The legislation to name the bridge “Christopher’s Crossing” need’s the governor’s signature to become final. Pataki’s office did not return calls for comment as of press time.

Christopher, 11, was killed by a car after riding his bike across the pedestrian bridge with a group of friends. In 1994 10-year-old John Shim died at the pedestrian bridge in a similar accident.

At the time of Christopher’s deadly accident there was no curb or buffer between the overpass entrance and the street. The city Department of Transportation has since made changes to the site, including banning bike riding on the bridge and installing stanchions to push traffic away from the bridge entrance. No one was charged in Christopher Scott’s death.

After conducting two traffic studies in the area, the city DOT has declined to install either a stop sign or traffic light at the intersection of 46th Avenue and the Clearview Expressway southbound service road, where the accident occurred.

Christopher’s family had sought to name the overpass “Christopher’s Crossing” as a way to remind people about the dangers of the area. The Bayside Kiwanis club was also planning to install a plaque at the site memorializing both boys killed there.

The family had wanted the legislation finalized in time for the first anniversary of Christopher’s death on Aug. 17. In an interview last week Christopher’s mother, Virginia Scott, expressed frustration at the delay.

“All the local politicians seem to be in our corner,” she said. “I thought it would have happened by now.”

Naming the bridge “Christopher’s Crossing,” she said, would be a way to remind people of the dangers of the area.

“The more people who know about it the more who can be aware of the safety issues,” she said.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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