Cab Driver Strikes and Kills Manhattan CB 3 Member on Essex Street

harry_weider.jpgHarry Wieder. Photo: DNAInfo

From news site DNAInfo:

The victim, Harry Wieder, 57, was crossing Essex Street between E.
Houston and Stanton streets around 9:45 p.m. when he was hit by a taxi
heading north on the block, police said.

Wieder, a longtime advocate for disability, transportation and LGBT
issues, had been leaving a Community Board 3 meeting at PS 20 when the
incident occurred, colleagues said.

Wieder was a member of the transportation committee of CB 3. A dwarf who had difficulty walking, he was known as an advocate for people with disabilities.

An email sent out by board chair Dominic Pisciotta last night reports that Wieder was surrounded by CB 3 members at the scene. According to DNAInfo, police "suspect no criminality" but the investigation is open.

The Essex/Delancey area is one of the most dangerous in the city. Earlier this month a man was killed while crossing Delancey at Essex. According to CrashStat, 86 pedestrians and 24 cyclists were injured at the intersection from 1995 to 2005.

  • NattyB

    Damn,

    I passed by there at 11:50 and the police had blocked off essex from between houston and stanton. Now I know why. Cars fly down Essex. Could use some traffic calming measures. But all this stems from the Williamsburg bridge. You got all these cars getting dumped into neighborhoods and they want to disperse.

    Poor dude

  • These stories always get my blood boiling, but I can’t imagine what it’s like for the family and friends of these victims who have to live with the knowledge that, in the eyes of public policy makers, their loved ones’ lives are considered less important than the movement of a bunch of machines. I wish I were a machine, so that my needs actually mattered in the eyes of public policy makers.

    Another human life sacrificed upon the altar of the almighty automobile.

  • Terrible. I first met Harry back in the 80s when I was working with community newspapers. He certainly will be missed.

  • I hate reading these stories, but it’s important they’re reported fully and accurately to change the direction of our dangerous street designs and policies. Condolences to all who knew Harry, and fingers crossed this stirs positive action from his colleagues at the community board. They ought to demand safety improvements, red light cameras, and force NYPD to finally enforce the laws.

  • There is a subtle difference in NYPD’s statement regarding this crash comapred to many in the past–instead of flatly concluding hours after the craqsh that “there was no criminality,” NYPD “suspects” no criminality but is continuing its investigation. Let’s hope it’s a thorough one, and that NYPD will provide public access to the information as required under the Freedmon of Information Law.

  • Gwin

    This is terribly sad – he sounded like a very interesting and vibrant person.

    One of the other reports (http://www.thelodownny.com/leslog/2010/04/community-activist-harry-wieder-killed-in-traffic-accident.html#more-9992) said that it seems he stepped into the street from between two cars… of course I am absolutely NOT blaming the victim but it is sad that people continue to take these types of risks, especially on dangerous 2-way streets like Essex. Cyclists know what I’m talking about here…who hasn’t had someone jaywalk in front of his/her bike without due caution?

  • Harry and I often found ourselves on opposite sides of issues due to our very different perspectives on getting around the city. With his disability, he relied extensively on driving his van to get around the city, while of course I was promoting a vision of New York as a place with far less negative impact from vehicles.

    Most recently, he expressed concern that DOT’s planned enhancements to the bike route network on the LES would have a major negative impact on his ability to legally park in no-parking zones with his handicapped placards (since one can’t ever legally park in a bike lane). I was arguing that there was a major safety benefit to the great number of cyclists crossing the Williamsburg Bridge and riding on Delancey in attracting them away from Delancey. He had a good point as it affected him and I imagine he acknowledged that I had a good point, too.

    I hope he knew that although we often had different points of view of how the city could be a better place for those most at risk, I certainly respected him for staying so active in his many interests and on community issues. I’m still horrified and saddened.

  • Ian Turner

    When the NYPD says “no criminality”, I generally take that to mean that they don’t think anyone was intentionally killing anyone else; i.e., no mischief.

    Almost by definition, any automobile collision short of mechanical failure requires that at least one party was breaking the law, so a strict definition of the “no criminality” phrase doesn’t really make any sense, no matter how much victim-blaming might be going on.

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