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commons simeons120The Joint Work Group on Truck Safety met Wednesday and issued an update on their progress. The work group completed its review of the entire list of ideas generated to improve truck safety in Ithaca from all sources.  Ideas had come from the general public, the City of Ithaca and engineers and NYS State DOT.   A few items on the checklist have already been implemented, such as cutting of trees and brush near signs for greater visibility, and about sixteen replacement signs and three new signs are currently being put up.

The work group was formed after a truck crashed into Simeon's on the Ithaca Commons, killing Lansing woman Amanda Bush.  Bush was a bartender at the popular restaurant and pregnant at the time of her death.  the restaurant sustained major damage in the crash, which resulted in several customers and staff being hospitalized.  Simeon's owners announced in September that they intend to reopen the popular bistro.

The work group will release the entire list of proposals with its recommendations shortly after January 1st with the date for a public informational meeting to be held in mid-January.  The recommendations will not be set in stone, they explained, with additional feedback sought during the public meeting.

The work group, which consists of Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature Mike Lane, Fernando de Aragon of the Ithaca-Tompkins Transportation Council, and representatives from the Syracuse Regional Office of NYS Department of Transportation, was convened following the tragic accident on June 20, 2014 in which a tractor trailer slammed into Simeon's restaurant in downtown Ithaca.

The work group will make final recommendations about implementing other measures after the opportunity for public input during the January meeting with the goal of decreasing the likelihood of truck accidents like the one in downtown Ithaca last summer.

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