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Tell the City Council: Stop the Carnage

February 13, 2012

From 2001 through 2011, seven pedestrians were killed in bike-ped accidents.  For some perspective on just how miniscule that statistic is, Gothamist is reporting that in a twelve-hour period beginning on Saturday night, five people were killed in car accidents.  Two of them were pedestrians hit by drivers who fled the scene.

Police say a 42-year-old woman was fatally struck by a tan Mazda around 9:45 p.m by a hit-and-run driver who fled the scene.

Then just before 3 a.m., two people were killed in an accident on the FDR involving a wrong-way driver. According to police, a 26-year-old man was driving a Nissan Maxima northbound in the southbound lanes of the FDR when he slammed into a Dodge Caravan near the Houston Street exit. Both the 26-year-old and 52-year-old Dodge driver were killed; another car was involved in the accident, and its two passengers were taken to the hospital.

A Queens driver was killed when he was ejected from his 2006 Lincoln Town Car after hitting a utility pole while going eastbound on South Conduit Boulevard around 4 a.m. Then just before 8 a.m., a 75-year-old man was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Harlem while crossing the street at the intersection of Broadway and West 138th Street in Hamilton Heights. The victim was identified as Luis Rosado by the Daily News.

There’s a hearing on traffic safety at the City Council on Wedensday, headed by Council Member Peter Vallone and co-chaired by James Vacca.  Given Vacca’s year-end media blitz promising to introduce more bike-focused legislation, based on “stories from pedestrians about the scourge of the rogue commercial cyclist,” as well as his newfound interest in the “civil rights” of those who have difficulty navigating pedestrian plazas and bike lanes, someone ought to tell him the stories of real people killed by reckless drivers on his watch as the Transportation Committee chair.

Drivers got their parking relief last month.  It’s time for New York City’s pedestrians to get some relief from deadly drivers, and it’s time for leadership from the City Council, not pandering.

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One Comment
  1. February 13, 2012 9:52 am

    Unfortunately, this kind of loopy reasoning is common in the UK, as well as the US. I pointed out in a blog post a while ago – http://invisiblevisibleman.blogspot.com/2012/01/minister-who-made-invisible-visible-man.html – that in the UK cyclists killed a lower proportion of total pedestrian fatalities – much lower – than their proportion of traffic. I’m sure that must also be true in the US. I’ve just put up a new post focusing on what kinds of road behaviour it makes most sense to be harsh upon (clue – it’s not necessarily misbehaving cyclists): http://invisiblevisibleman.blogspot.com/2012/02/why-no-man-is-island-even-in-his-car.html . Good luck to you all in New York in injecting some sense into this debate. I’m taking a wild guess it’s not easy.

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