Motorists Killed at Least Two Pedestrians in Marty Golden’s District in April

A pedestrian struck by a motorist on April 1 in Bay Ridge died from her injuries. The crash occurred on a section of Fourth Avenue where DOT plans to install a pedestrian fence, and in a precinct where NYPD writes a speeding ticket once every five days.

At least two pedestrians were killed by drivers in April in the 68th Precinct, which wrote 63 speeding tickets in 2012. State Senator Marty Golden, whose district encompasses the precinct, is opposed to automated speed enforcement.

The victim, a 30-year-old female whose name was not published, was struck by the driver of a Honda sedan as she attempted to cross mid-block on Fourth near 86th Street, according to an April 2 story from the Brooklyn Daily. The impact broke one of her arms and caused severe head trauma.

The FDNY said they took the victim to Lutheran Medical Center where she later died from her injuries.

An NYPD spokeswoman said that the driver was uninjured and remained at the scene. An investigation is ongoing, but there is no evidence of a crime.

“It looks like it was just an accident,” the spokeswoman said.

A different version of the Brooklyn Daily story first appeared in the Brooklyn Paper, which reported that the victim was transported in cardiac arrest.

Coverage of the crash makes no mention of how fast the driver was going before the collision. A pedestrian’s chance of survival when hit by a vehicle decreases dramatically as motorist speed increases. Speeding was the leading cause of NYC traffic deaths in 2012, according to DOT.

DOT is planning a slate of changes to Fourth Avenue aimed at slowing down drivers and reducing traffic injuries and deaths. According to reports, one element of the proposal is a pedestrian fence, similar to those in Midtown Manhattan, to prevent “jaywalking.”

As usual, NYPD is AWOL on traffic calming. The 68th Precinct, where this crash occurred, and where an elderly woman was killed by a driver in a Fourth Avenue crosswalk on April 30, issued just 63 speeding tickets in 2012.

Both fatalities happened in Marty Golden’s state senate district. Golden has blocked the city from implementing a speed camera pilot program, though NYPD supports automated enforcement. Golden can be reached at 718-238-6044 and @SenMartyGolden.

To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Captain Richard G. DiBlasio, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 68th Precinct council meetings happen at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the precinct, 333 65th Street. Call 718-439-4229 for information.

The City Council district where this crash occurred is represented by Vincent Gentile. To encourage Gentile to take action to improve street safety in his district and citywide, contact him at 718-748-5200 or vgentile@council.nyc.gov.

The transportation committee of Community Board 6 will meet tonight to discuss DOT proposals for Fourth Avenue.

  • NYFM

    If the NYPD would ticket speeders where they are most dangerous ( e.g: midtown, and that means any and all vehicles going over 30 MPH) then that would actually have more impact than building dedicated bike lanes, as well as being a hell of a lot cheaper.

  • Alex Knight

    Nonsense. To insist that any one solution by itself is the answer is naive. A mix of traffic calming and enforcement are needed to improve pedestrian safety. Plus, who ever said that traffic calming was the main goal of the bike lanes? The main goal of bike lanes is to (duh) expand safe biking.

  • Daphna

    I hate pedestrian fences. The DOT should not use pedestrian fences anymore and should use other tools instead to calm traffic and prevent pedestrian injuries/deaths. The pedestrian fences on 6th Avenue in Manhattan and Jay Street in Brooklyn are awful; they feel offensive. The pedestrian fence on the west side of 8th Avenue in Manhattan between 42nd and 43rd Streets is especially counter-productive because the DOT has created pedestrian space in the road next to that stretch of sidewalk yet pedestrians can not access their added street space because there is a fence at the edge of the sidewalk. The fence on this block (8th Ave 42nd-43rd St) should be removed so pedestrians can use the new street space allocated to them. Right now NYPD 14th precinct officers abuse the pedestrian space by wrongfully parking their vehicles in it all day.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure Midtown is that dangerous; I rarely read stories of pedestrians getting killed there, while I read about lots of victims uptown, in Chinatown, in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx… Is it because Midtown is relatively small, or is it because traffic here usually moves at 3 mph?

  • Pedestrian deaths/
    At alter of fast traffic/
    Needs to be rethought/
    #haiku

  • Anonymous

    While I agree that Pedestrian fences are not the best solution. I, sadly, believe that many pedestrians are too stupid or distracted to realize crossing mid-block is a horrible idea. So we do need to do something to force them to cross only at cross walks.

  • Joe R.

    The only place where a pedestrian fence might make sense is next to a protected bike lane. Even then, if you need a fence, it’s more a symptom of the sidewalk being too narrow for the pedestrian traffic level than due to bad pedestrian behavior. Anywhere else, putting a fence is insulting. Pedestrians cross midblock because it’s often safer. Just look both ways, if it’s clear then cross. No worries about looking over your shoulder for turning cars.

  • Daphna

    Midtown is rampant with speeding during non-peak hours. Those wide multi-lane avenues need large capacity for weekday daytime when traffic often only averages 8mph due to high volumes, but night-time, those avenues have huge excess capacity for the lower night traffic volumes so there is extreme speeding. If there are not high injury/fatality numbers it is because the pedestrians and cyclists take care and pay attention, not because of law abiding behavior by motorists. I have had many close calls with illegally speeding motorists passing me within inches while biking on 6th Avenue at night – very frightening.

  • Daphna

    Crossing mid-block is not a horrible idea. Forcing pedestrians to cross only at crosswalks is not a good goal. If all pedestrians did this, motorists would never be able to turn at an intersection because there would be an unending stream of pedestrians.

    Joe R. is right. If pedestrians are in the road, it is a symptom of insufficient sidewalk space. Sidewalks should be widened in the places where pedestrians spill over into the road.

    People are not cattle. Fences are insulting. I hate crowd control barriers, too, when used inappropriately to block off pedestrian access or try to corral pedestrians into a path that is not the most direct and does not make the most common sense. Pedestrians naturally move in ways that are direct and efficient. That should be recognized and honored, not re-directed to an inconvenient movement pattern with a fence.

  • Anonymous

    Yes it is! I can’t see you between parked cars and often you don’t have a full view of the street to see me. When I hit you doing 20+ MPH on my bike because you were too lazy to use a marked cross walk its going to hurt us both a lot. As for motorists being unable to turn that’s why lights both traffic and pedestrian are timed.

  • Anonymous

    “Safer?” For who? The person who can’t see whats coming? The motorist or biker who hits them because they can’t see their about to step out in front of the cyclist or the driver?

    Take Atlantic Avenue by Barclay for example they have barricades up to prevent people from crossing mid block because traffic is just moving too fast for you to safely play frogger with the cars. The sidewalks are mostly larger or the standard size for this city.

  • Joe R.

    OK, so it’s safer to cross at corners where large vehicles are parked which block your view even more? That’s not a hypothetical. Near where I live they insist on parking school buses right at the corner of 164th Street and 71st Avenue overnight. End result is I can’t see what’s coming when I cross without putting myself in danger. If I step out far enough to see traffic, I can get hit by a turning car which doesn’t see me because I’m blocked from their view by the bus. It’s much safer for me to cross mid block. I can see what’s coming just fine without stepping into traffic if I cross between two normal sized cars. It doesn’t matter if anyone sees me because I don’t cross unless I’m 100% sure it’s clear. And I don’t have to look over my shoulder for turning cars, either. That’s one of the main reasons people cross midblock.

    Crossing at corners would only be safer if we prohibited parking within about 50 feet of the crosswalk. If not, then parked vehicles can easily hide pedestrians from turning vehicles until it’s too late.

  • Anonymous

    In that situation you wait for the light at the crosswalk. Anything else is inexcusably unsafe. Even if I can’t see you I expect there to be pedestrians at crosswalks. Pedestrians crossing mid-block is something I really don’t or can’t expect.

    For what good it will do have you tried calling 311 about these buses? And tried contacting the DOE? If memory serves correctly your not supposed to park commercial vehicles overnight on city streets. I’m guessing these are contracted buses?

  • Joe R.

    First off, what if there’s no traffic signal? Second, even if there is, I refuse to cross the street blindly depending that cars will stop on red, and totally unable to see if anything is coming. You do know the majority of pedestrians were killed in the crosswalk, with the walk signal, don’t you? Third, who the heck waits for the signal to cross in this town? Even if I did, a lot of people won’t. It’s a dangerous situation. It’s not just that intersection. At the police station further up 71st Avenue, the police sometimes block the view with vans parked at the corner.

    I know you don’t expect pedestrians crossing midblock. And I don’t expect you to. That’s why I don’t cross until it’s clear. I do in fact see my fair share of people who cross streets in a dangerous manner, depending upon people driving or biking to see them. I’m not one of them.

  • NYFM

    and I am saying the way to achieve safe biking is to enforce traffic laws. Enforcing speed limits IS traffic calming. Is that too obvious?

  • Joe R.

    In the abstract you’re correct but unfortunately speed cameras are out for now. There’s really no other viable way to enforce speed limits in very dense places like Manhattan. Cops chasing down speeders will probably kill more people than the speeders by themselves. Hopefully, speed cameras will be back on the table soon.

  • Driver

    If you are unable to cross a street without crossing at the crosswalk with the light, that’s fine. But to insist that anything else is foolishly unsafe is just absurd.

    And if you can’t anticipate or react to pedestrians crossing mid block, maybe you shouldn’t be driving.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG