We’re one week into the new year, and 2011 is off to a vicious start on Brooklyn streets.
In the last few days, a speeding livery cab driver plowed into a Sunset Park sidewalk, injuring a mother and her two nine-month-old twins; a hit-and-run driver knocked a boy out of his stroller and ran over his stomach on Kent Avenue; and 83-year-old Rabbi Mosha Adler was struck by a car in Midwood and sustained lacerations to the head. The rabbi died. The other four victims are hospitalized with serious injuries.
The Borough President has become increasingly vocal on traffic issues recently, testifying before City Council and sending out holiday cards about bike lanes. But after a bloody week for Brooklyn pedestrians, where is Marty Markowitz? Is he paying attention? How long do we have to wait until we see Marty stand up and say this is unacceptable?
If you were watching CBS2 last night, you got an answer. Perched on a Boro Park sidewalk, Markowitz joined Assembly Member Dov Hikind to blast the pedestrian safety improvements NYC DOT has added to Fort Hamilton Parkway. The new refuge islands, installed on a stretch of road where three people died in traffic in the past three years, are, in Marty’s view, “meshugga.”
So it seems that Brooklyn has to wait at least a year or two before Marty will say something even vaguely connected to the maiming and killing that happened in his borough this week. Then, after the city has planned a way to protect people on these streets, secured resources to implement the plan, and built out the improvements, Marty will notice. But not because a street became safer. He’ll notice because someone complained that the street is different than it was before.
That will grab Marty’s attention. And then he’ll send an alert out to the local TV news producers, stand in front of the cameras, and, employing his cute ethnic phrase du jour, say, “This is unacceptable.”