No Charges for Cabbie Who Severely Injured Woman on Sidewalk Near NYU

A yellow cab driver severely injured a woman on a sidewalk in Greenwich Village this morning.

The victim was struck at around 10:50 a.m. on University Place near East Eighth Street. Gothamist says she was “pinned between the taxi and a stucco wall.”

A reporter for Washington Square News, an independent NYU outlet, said the victim was unconscious at the scene. “The woman was facing away from the cab, and when it hit her, she went up in the air and the cab basically pinned her against the wall,” a witness said.

The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition, Gothamist reported. No charges were filed against the driver.

Sidewalk collisions resulted in at least 14 fatalities in the last 12 months alone, according to crash data compiled by Streetsblog. If the city keeps a data set on the number of people hurt and killed by motorists on sidewalks, in buildings, and other places drivers are not supposed to be, we haven’t seen it.

University Place has excess width and not much car traffic. A narrower roadbed and traffic-calming measures might have prevented this crash.

This morning’s crash is reminiscent of the one that cost tourist Sian Green part of her leg in 2013. Since then, the city adopted Cooper’s Law to yank licenses from cab drivers who hurt pedestrians while violating victims’ right of way. But the Taxi and Limousine doesn’t use the law to take reckless cabbies off the road, in part because police and district attorneys so rarely file charges.

  • Joe R.

    Maybe it’s just me but that picture doesn’t look like a cage at all. So long as a large shopping cart or baby carriage can fit between the bollards it’s not restricting pedestrians at all. I’d feel much more protected walking there than on most NYC sidewalks. Bollards serve a secondary useful function—they prevent the NYPD and others from parking on sidewalks. I’d even like to see retractable bollards in front of crosswalks to enforce stopping at red lights.

    I understand the thought that bollards may reinforce the idea streets are for cars. However, so long as we continue to allow motor vehicles on urban streets we’ll continue to need protection from them. Drivers WILL make errors, either deliberate or accidental, regardless of the infrastructure. The infrastructure should ensure those errors don’t kill people on sidewalks.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    the bollards encourage drivers to drive recklessly

    First use all the other items in the toolkit.

  • ahwr

    I meant the second picture was like a cage, the first was not.

  • Joe R.

    Yes, I agree on the second picture. Fences and chains have no place on urban streets. Those things definitely enforce the idea that streets are for cars only.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Maybe reduce speed limit to 20MPH whenever Humans are around Like the rest of the civilized World would be a better solution thN raising curbs

  • Andrew

    The speed limit is irrelevant if it isn’t enforced.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    use Infrastructure to enforce speed limit

  • neroden

    The NYPD are guilty of conspiracy with the killer to help the killer escape justice. That’s the actual law. It wouldn’t even go to a jury, since the facts are uncontested.

    Unfortunately, who’s gonna arrest the NYPD?

  • neroden

    The NYPD are supposed to be arresting killers. Instead they’re aiding and abetting them. It’s the worst sort of police corruption. There’s really only one stage left before vigilante justice becomes the only justice in New York.

    That step is, of course, running a political campaign to replace the five DAs, and to replace the mayor and city council with candidates who will replace the felonious police comissioner.

    There is a crime wave in New York. A DA needs to be elected with a mandate to arrest the criminals. Most of the criminals are NYPD.

    One Manhattan DA could have half the corrupt scumbags in the NYPD in jail in a month, and the rest would be scared straight and would start actually arresting killers.

  • Tyler

    If I ever get a ticket on my bicycle, I’m going to say I was having a medical condition… Do I have to run someone over for that to stick?

  • Frank Kotter

    Alexander, usually agree with you but on this one, your are way off as the post from Joe explains.

  • Frank Kotter

    Europeans line streets all over the place with bollards. It is not for traffic calming but rather for illegal parking elimination and to give pedestrians a sense of exclusive space. Cobbles are traffic calming to some point but have nothing to do with reckles driving.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Frank,

    I travel to MittelEuropa 3-5 Times a year and Have relatively widespread and deep experience with the Bollard Situation Out here. Bollards are used a lot, but only when the roadwidth Is tiny and the sidewalk also Is tiny. A tylocal example Might be a busy City Center shopping street that has 34’from building facade to building facade. the planners need to fit 2 streetcar lanes, plus 1 motor lane, plus sidewalks on both sides of the street. 18′ for Streetcars, 9.5′ for cars, and that leaves room for two 42 INCH wide sidewalks.

    Yup Europeans will install bollards here because the sidewalks are narrower than a hallway in a 1960s ranch house.

    This is a fundamentally different application of bollards than what I observe in the US and shown in Ahnwr’s 2 photos. I see streets with massively wide lanes, and big parking lanes getting bollards installed.

    For example, the fences on fifth avenue near Rock center are a typical application. This is evil

  • Frank Kotter

    I think we should make the differentiation between pedestrian permeable and non permeable? Also the differentiation among curbside, middle street, street end and parking prohibitive bollards?
    I understand what you are saying to a point but how is a filter with effects cars and not pedestrians somehow degrading to the pedestrian experience? The only place I see this is where a bollard is placed in within the pedestrian sidewalk design thereby even further limiting this narrow space (which is indeed seen extensively in Europe)

  • Joe R.

    I agree on those 5th Avenue fences. Someone should tie Guiliani to them for a day while passers-by pummel him with rotten fruit. However, those fences were expressly designed to keep pedestrians out to foster the idea 5th is for cars only. That kind of thinking doesn’t belong in urban areas. Bollards on the other hand are designed to keep cars off pedestrian space while still allowing free pedestrian movement on and across the street. No matter what we do, from time to time drivers will screw up. I don’t want those screw ups to cost the life of someone on the sidewalk. Bollards could have prevented 100% of the deaths on sidewalks and in stores. They also have an added bonus. If someone drives carelessly and totals their car on bollards, the insurance company may not cover it. They’ll be out a car. If they can’t afford a replacement, that’s one less reckless driver on the streets.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    we actually agree on Many aspects of Bollard placement.

    Where we seem to disagree Is in the details. I believe bollards should only be installed as a absolute last resort and only after Every other traffic calming, sidewalk expansion has been already implemented.

    Bollards also should never be installed on the sidewalk. Bollards should only be installed in the motor roadway. If the intent Is to Keel killer drivers Out, then then motor Roadway Is the place for Bollards not the sudewalk.

    The eventual Goal Is to create a different Weltanschauung about the great public space of our streets. City streets belong to pedestrians. Pedestrians should feel safe walking down the Middle of any NYC street at most any Time. Children should be able to play Ball Games in the Middle of most residential streets.

    both JSK & Jane Jacobs knew and understood this. this was the vision They had for our civic life.

    Bollards are the antithesis of the JSK Vision. When you install Bollards to protect people from killer drivers, you tacitly accept the Robert Moses sinister Vision that streets belong to drivers and not people.

  • MatthewEH

    I’ll take a gander at this: they’re annoying to cycle over.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    well
    designed 20-25 mph speedbumps are manifestly not annoying to cycle over. I find them usually smoother than the normal street surface

  • Frank Kotter

    Ok, that makes a lot of sense. But getting there presently is impossible. I will take a change which at a minimum protects pedestrians from car drivers in ANY space. how it presently is, there is zero space in any city where this exists.

    Yes, if they are seen as a final step and that the situation they create is the final say, then I agree that that is unacceptable. However, if used as a tool to ease our streets in the right direction, I feel they can be of good.

  • Speed bumps typcially have a space alongside them for bicycles to pass them by. I have even seen a few with a bike passage right in the middle; I cannot remember exactly where I saw this, I think it was Union City or Jersey City.

  • MatthewEH

    I’ve seen these outside of NYC too, yes. IMO, they’re a bad idea in NYC; NYC drivers will swerve around so as to pass 2 wheels through the bike channel and not have to slow down so much. 🙁

  • Alexander Vucelic
  • Frank Kotter

    Yup, and the ‘don’t go there’ is more necessary in Europe because double parking is not tolerated in any way, shape or form. Therefore, any sidewalk, corner, etc. is the ‘only option’ for lazy drivers.

  • Frank Kotter

    In general, much of Europe is just so much better at social engineering through structural design.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    It’s remarkable walking through Munich and seeing a phenomenally nuanced series of streetscape textures and subtle changes in elevation Signaling speeds, delinating space and calmining traffic.

    The placement of Bollards to restrict cars is widespread and also nuanced. some clever grad Student could get a PhD in Bollard placement in Munich from 1915 to 2015.

  • Frank Kotter

    If you like Munich, you should hit up the low countries…. Wow.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    My 70 something Auntie was griping about getting photo busted ( aka ‘blitzed’) for speeding 34km in a 30 km zone. The fine was only 15€ but she’s never going to speed again.

    Note 30 km/h ( 18 mph) is the default speed limit basically everywhere except major aterials & of course the A-bahn where my Soccer Mom cousin nochantly drives 110 MPH in her minivan.

  • Frank Kotter

    Hmmmmm….. not quite. 30 is the lowest limit on streets designed for multi-use, streets with very narrow passages, blind corners, many entryways, etc…. communities must petition the regional ministry (I think) to get this limit, 50 is much more common and is the default speed for urban areas, 70 on urban main roads 90 on country roads and anywhere from 80 for trucks to unlimited on the autobahn.

    As an aside, you seldom see normal beat officers giving out speeding tickets as this is enforced through the cameras you mentioned. To that, road design is much better at telling the driver how fast they should be driving – not to the perfection of NL but it is getting better.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    my Observation Is 30 kmh Is default pretty Much everywhere even in villages. I also observe that urban arterials are mostly 50kmh.

    Infrastructure Design governs speed more than anything as you mention.

  • Frank Kotter

    https://goo.gl/maps/3vpPAht7Pfs

    Here you have a good example of 50 to 30. The main road is 50 and the residential street is 30. Buy yes, rather superfluous as design already telly you that.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    what’s great about the view you selected is how Suburban the neighborhood feels and yet it active transportation has equal priority with motor vehicles. The density here is likely similar to bayside Queens or Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn

  • Joe R.

    Could easily be my neighborhood once you get past Utopia Parkway (i.e. the immediate area where I live is a bit less suburban than that):

    https://www.google.com/maps/@40.7291811,-73.7900384,3a,75y,263.45h,86.82t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sVuFhNmdscTKizrp1mwQOlg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

  • Frank Kotter

    Yup, that and the use of space. I still don’t get the adoration of un-utilized asphalt in the U.S. Even in the densest parts of New York or Chicago, the streets are just enormous.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    great street view – with just a few design tweaks this neighborhood could a an active transport paradise just like the example Kotter posted above.

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