The Weekly Carnage

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(Photo by lostinfog on flickr)

  • Here’s something from this morning on Staten Island:

    3 hurt in multi-car crash car in SIE bus lane
    At least three people are injured in a three-vehicle crash in the eastbound bus lane of the Staten Island Expressway between Slosson Avenue and Clove Road, Radio reports from the scene indicate two of the victims are being taken to a hospital by ambulance. The crash has jammed commuter traffic across the Island, and extra police units are being summoned to route motorists around the affected area.

  • Again, the question has to be asked: Is this car-based urban transportation system, totally, utterly, broken or is the system intended and expected to work with this much failure?

  • Hilary Kitasei

    It was annoying when Henry Stern steered last night’s discussion billed as “traffic and parks” to a helmet requirement – obviously a red herring designed to put the bicyclists on the defensive and off the topic of what traffic does to the park experience. Yet, while I would be reluctant to support any barrier that discourages bicycling, I would be sympathetic to a requirement that employers provide delivery guys helmets (and insurance). In my experience, they are the ones who get hit the most. It’s the same principle as protecting restaurant employees from secondhand smoke.

  • Speaking of which, would anyone be able to write up a quick summary of last night’s debate over traffic in the parks that Hilary mentions?

  • ddartley

    Re: the 16 year old girl killed-
    Someone with a title no less than Westchester County Public Safety Commissioner calls a death due to drunken, wrong-way highway driving an “accident.”

    I think it was Rush Limbaugh who inspired a semantic sea-change by coining the ludicrous phrase, “homicide bomber.” Now, almost all conservative media people refuse to say “suicide bomber.”

    If he can inspire such a shift, then maybe some media bozo will do something similar (but more useful and accurate) with the misuse of the word “accident.” Any suggestions for the new phrase? “negligent vehicular homicide?” “NVH?” Of course it might take a change of statute for it to catch on, such as in the way “DWI” and “DUI” have.

  • d

    Hilary, on another thread someone posted a great idea about redirecting discussions about helmet requirements. Helmets may prevent injury, but they do not prevent collisions. The goal of the city should be to prevent as many accidents as possible. If there were an intersection in NYC that had a high frequency of fender-benders, the response from the DOT would not be, “Just wear a seatbelt.” The response would be to redesign the intersection.

    Let’s not let the powers that be use the helmet smokescreen to cover up decades of bad traffic management and urban planning that have resulted in the mess we have today.

  • Dartley,

    A number of State DOT’s have stopped using the word “accident” to describe vehicle crashes. Not so long ago the NYT described an incident in which a guy hopped in his SUV and purposefully, with intent, ran someone over, as an “accident.” It’s such a strange way to refer to 44,000 annual U.S. deaths. Whoops! Accident. Sorry ’bout that. Don’t cry over spilt milk.

    Me and this fellow Jason have been pressing the NY Times to stop using that word and, instead, use a more neutral, objective and less-value laden term like “crash” to describe… crashes.

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