The Weekly Carnage

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Tom Nycz/The Journal News

Fatal Crashes (19 Killed This Week; 402 Killed This Year)

  • Chappaqua, N.Y.: Pedestrian, 61, Killed on Way to Starbucks (Journal News)
  • Lindenhurst, L.I.: Mother Runs Over 5-Year-Old Son (AP/Daily News)
  • Related: Officer Notes "It’s Just a Tragic Accident" (Newsday)
  • Staten Island: Car Rear Ended, Bursts Into Flames, Killing Driver (S.I. Advance)
  • Secaucus, N.J.: Mom in ICU Unaware that Daughter, 6, Died (Jersey Journal)
  • Secaucus, N.J.: Driver, 81, Plows Through Bus Shelter, Killing 1 (Jersey Journal)
  • Lawrence, L.I.: Parallel Parking SUV Jumps Curb, Kills Pedestrian (Newsday)
  • Eastport, L.I.: Driver Loses Control, Hits Ditch, Flips Car, Dies (Newsday)
  • Hamilton, N.J.: Two Women, Both 19, in Out-of-Control Sedan (Daily Journal)
  • New Rochelle, N.Y.: Iona College Student, 19, Killed on I-95 (Journal News)
  • Ewing, N.J.: Car Strikes and Kills Visitor from Poland, 61 (Times of Trenton)
  • Hamilton, N.J.: 14-Year-Old Boy on Scooter Struck and Killed (Times of Trenton)
  • South Hempstead, L.I.: Man, 41, Hits Pole, Dies (Newsday)
  • Ronkonkoma, L.I.: Driver Dies After Rear Ending a Truck (Newsday)
  • Raritan, N.J.: ‘Unbelievable’ Pileup Leaves Woman, 50, Dead (Star-Ledger)
  • Woodbridge, N.J.: Man Dies as Car Veers Into Oncoming Traffic (Star-Ledger)
  • Argyle, Me.: Boy, 15, From Spring Valley, N.Y., Killed in Rollover (Journal News)
  • Related: That Type of Van Is Prone to Rollovers (Journal News)
  • Parsippany, N.J.: Motorcyclist Loses Control and Is Killed (NJ.com)
  • Cold Spring, N.Y.: Driver Dies in Single-Vehicle Crash (Journal News)

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Christina Jeng / The Journal News

Injuries, Arrests & Property Damage

  • West Nyack, N.Y.: Man Extricated After SUV Rollover (Journal News)
  • Queens: DWI Driver Hits 3-Year-Old Girl and 2 Women (NY Post)
  • Related: Driver Had Downed Bottle of Vodka (NY Post)
  • Related: Driver Arraigned in Hospital Bed (AP/Newsday)
  • Hillside, N.J.: Officers Crash Into Car of Suspect They’re Chasing (NJ.com)
  • Rye, N.Y.: Six Kids and Adult Excape Injury on Parkway Rollover (Journal News)

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Kevin J. Czarzasty / FireFightningNews.com

  • Waterbury, Conn.: Firefighters Free Trapped Woman (FireFighting News)
  • Edison, N.J.: Woman, 50, Injured in Hit-and-Run (NJ.com)
  • Bohemia, L.I.: Woman Seriously Injured in Crash (Newsday)

Following Up

  • Queens: Seizure-Stricken Driver Who Killed 3 Is Charged With Lying (NYT)
  • Brooklyn: Corner Named for Rookie Officer Killed in Car Wreck (AP/Newsday
  • Brooklyn: City Will Pay $1.25M to L.I. Driver Injured by Pothole (Newsday)
  • Elizabeth, N.J.: Grand Jury Indicts Man for Killing Pedestrian (Star-Ledger)

Trends

  • Nissan to Introduce Self-Lifting Gas Pedal (AP/IHT)
  • Hempstead Turnpike: 14 Blocks, 160 Crashes (Newsday)
  • Rating Long Island’s Most Dangerous Roads (Newsday)
  • Newsday Readers Blame Crashes on … Drivers (Newsday)

About the Weekly Carnage

  • That tragic Chappaqua pedestrian death was actually at an intersection that we are working on. The intersection is extremely over designed for the main street environment that it is meant to serve. Unfortunately, an accident seemed bound to happen there.

    Hopefully this will help get some much needed changes at that intersection and others in the town.

  • galvo

    so many of these killings are totally avoidable. strict enforcement and lowering of speed limits to 20 mph in the crowded business area of downtown Chappaqua. call it a “People Zone” to get the support of the sign makers.
    Tappan Zee bridge killings could also be stopped by strict enforcement of the speed limit. I have been traveling over it a couple times a week recently. I think i am the only vehicle attempting to travel the speed limit during reduced night time visibility. The tractor trailers, the vehicles with the most weight, longest stopping distance, tired drivers and burnt out brakes, continue to travel above 60 mph over the TZ bridge, over 70 mph on the thruway 55 mph zone.

  • ddartley

    CITY STREETS HAVE NO BUSINESS ALLOWING 30MPH TRAVEL.

    Lower the speed limit in ALL areas with a certain population density (or even only peak-hours population density).

    That means virtually ALL of NYC’s city streets should have their speed limit lowered in my not-humble opinion on the subject.

    Again, 30mph is the speed where even people IN cars start DYING in great numbers. So obviously, plain old human beings will be even more vulnerable. And plain old human beings are what DRIVE THE ECONOMY OF CITIES. Look out for THEM, not those who choose to take up excessive space, heat our air and dirty our air (compounding the effects of that heat), and can travel at unsafely high speeds.

    Also, reducing speed limits on city streets might just make bike lanes (which of course have their own host of problems and opponents) less necessary in certain areas.

    CITY STREETS HAVE NO BUSINESS ALLOWING 30MPH TRAVEL.

  • Hilary

    “Eliminating variable speed limits” is the reason given by NYS DOT for its proposal to “straighten the S-curves” on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Ft. Tryon and Inwood Parks. The curves (a traffic-calming innovation of parkways and rare in this city of grids) have posted limits of 35 mph. For safety reasons, DOT wants to bring the whole parkway up to 50 mph buy straightening and widening the road. The West Side Highway below 59th Street (another state road that is part of a waterfront park, Hudson River Park), is 40 mph. Of course there is little correlation between the actual speeds and posted limits on any of these roads. They range from zero in congestion to 100% above. Speeding apparently defies enforcement. Chasing cars is dangerous; there’s no place to pull them over; the state disallows cameras. I have never been able to get an answer as to whose job it is to enforce speeding on state roads in the city.

    Reducing the actual speeds on our city streets and park roads will be a great improvement in the quality of life in the city. It can’t be done, however, without REDUCING THE NUMBER OF VEHICLES. If we insist on thinking of congestion in terms of speed, we’re not protecting the interests of city residents, just motorists.

  • galvo

    Vehicles need to be redesigned for the safety of the people outside. School buses have mirrors all over them so they don’t run over the children they are transporting. All vehicles need to be designed with no blind spots, the designers should be concentrating on outside personal safety rather than the soundproofing, DVD and stereo systems. A couple high profile vehicle design torts would change the process. The gas/brake pedal configuration is also outdated. These systems are from the original vehicles, long before there was any population of 70 plus year old drivers operating daily on the now crowded streets.
    Our older driving population is now composed of people with peripheral neuropathies; the gas pedal/brake design is defective. They are too close together. I think formula one cars, the best drivers in the world have a larger separation due to mistaken pedals in collisions. It is too easy to be tossed around in a minor collision and slam on the gas by mistake. Hand controls are the way to go for the accelerator a la motorcycle.

  • psycholist

    Redesigning autos for safety is a noble thought but I doubt it’s going anywhere. Just look at the battles the car makers have fought against relatively minor increases to fuel economy. There needs to be a major consciousness shift before that happens.

  • For all the complaining about the MTA’s performance after Wednesday’s storm, the public transit system performed better than the private car on asphalt system in terms of safety. People were late to work, but nobody using the MTA system died. The storm’s only fatality was a New Jersey motorist who was rear-ended by a driver with a suspended license on the Staten Island expressway.

  • gecko

    Aaron, a huge part of the problem is that public transport is so bad.

    Human-scale transport has the potential to beat automobile technology hands down in safety, energy, environmental impact, cost, adaptability, on top of the facile but extremely crucial capability of being even more distributed and on-demand.

    Large “cattle-car” transport (trains, buses, planes) locked to schedules, and massive expensive rigid infrastructures don’t come close and because they currently serve as the only “serious” alternate technology in the developed world, cars continue to dominate.

    The rigidity of the MTA is an ongoing serious liability which should immediately start an initiative of reinventing itself just like Microsoft did with the emergence of the internet. Human-scale transport is an important place to begin along with a total revamp of organizational culture and structure.

    The scientific prediction is that the storms will get more frequent and worse and like other large public and private organizations, transportation organizations must learn to adapt; and, because transportation is a major cause of emissions producing the climate change crisis, they must learn to greatly mitigate emissions by 90% or better.

    There is nothing that can do this except human-scale and hybrid human-powered transport and there is no reason to perceive this change as causing hardship. Most likely, the benefits will be immediate and profound.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Gecko, I couldn’t disagree more with your analysis.

    Every mode of transportation involves “massive expensive rigid infrastructures,” from the Roman roads to the docks of London to the Interstate Highway System to the world’s airports to the Appalachian Trail. I don’t see any way of getting away from the size, rigidity or expense of maintaining these things, unless you’ve got some magic spell for getting through trees and over swamps, or landing boats and aircraft. There’s nothing human-scale about the facilities necessary to support effective human-powered or hybrid transport. I’d argue that “human-scale transport” only feels human-scale because the infrastructure that supports it is convenient enough not to be noticeable.

    Your “cattle car” comment echoes the Mayor’s statement that “If you like taking the subway you should see a psychiatrist, get your head examined, go to see a shrink.” If you can avoid rush-hour crowds or late-night waits, the subway is actually quite pleasant and convenient. When the headways are short enough that you don’t have to wait very long, but the crowds are thin enough that you can get a comfortable seat, it sure feels like human-scale transport.

    Cars don’t continue to dominate because they compare unfavorably to trains. They continue to dominate because they’re over-subsidized.

  • gecko

    Smith, Subway trains weigh hundreds of tons. Cars usually weigh a ton or more and usually only transport a single person. Bicycles usually weigh under 50 pounds. Skates and small scooters weigh less. Walking weighs nothing. Hundreds of millions of people in Asia and Africa commute by bicycle. Everyone who uses a subway uses a significant amount of human energy to get here, to go up and down stairs, stand in stations and trains, etc.

    Small rural human-scale monorails need not entail much more than putting up fences through forests or guard rails on the sides of already existing roads and was done more than 100 years ago. Large complicated uban human-scale monorail systems can use tiers, be made modular, and achieve very high transport densities when required. A lot can be done with a small fraction of the $2 billion per mile it costs to build the Second Avenue Subway.

    I’ve been taking the subway well over 40 years, take it all the time, and agree with the mayor. Those times when I travel when the subways are empty cost the city much more than the most expensive limousine. It’s the best that it’s ever been but I still prefer not having to wait for a train, being above ground in the sunlight or under the stars, and even in bad weather it can be fun, exhilarating, and highly preferrable.

    If you enjoy traveling like a rat so be it. Like those who embrace their captors, people get used to doing a lot of stuff even though they are the hard ways to do things. Cars are one way. Subways are another.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    “Large complicated uban human-scale monorail systems”? Ooo, Gecko, you’re not talking about PRT, are you?

  • Valerie Lindsay

    The “pedestrian, 61 killed on the way to Starbucks” in Chappaqua was a dear, dear friend who I love/loved very much….Greg Cook. One of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever had the pleasure to have in my life. His daughter is a volunteer firefighter in Chappaqua and had the unfortunate call of going to the accident scene. God bless you, Greg. 

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