MTA Bus Driver Kills Anna Colon, 73, on the Lower East Side

An MTA bus driver struck and killed Anna Colon on East Houston Street this morning. The white arrow indicates the direction the victim was walking and the red arrow indicates the approximate path of the driver. Image: Google Maps
An MTA bus driver struck and killed Anna Colon on East Houston Street this morning. The white arrow indicates the direction the victim was walking and the red arrow indicates the approximate path of the driver. Image: Google Maps

An MTA bus driver killed a senior on the Lower East Side this morning.

Anna Colon, 73, was crossing East Houston Street north to south at around 9:50 a.m. when the driver, who was also southbound, hit her while turning left from Avenue D onto East Houston, according to NYPD.

“[The light] was about to turn red when she was crossing the street,” a witness told the Daily News. “The bus was turning and it ran her over. The bus dragged her body for a few feet.”

Anna Colon. Photo via DNAinfo
Anna Colon. Photo via DNAinfo

Colon died at the scene. The NYPD public information office had no details on who had the right of way. A police spokesperson said the investigation was ongoing.

East Houston at Avenue D is a wide two-way street with concrete medians in the crosswalks. Drivers injured 15 people walking at the intersection between 2009 and 2015, and had injured one other person there this year as of August, according to city crash data.

Another witness told the News that speeding, inattentive bus drivers are a hazard in the area.

“I feel afraid every time I cross that corner. I hold my breath and keep an eye out for a bus,” said local resident Rosalind Collazo. “The buses go fast and don’t stop. It’s not the buses, the cars go fast too. They do U-turns when they are not supposed to.”

Today’s crash was the first pedestrian fatality caused by an MTA bus driver in 2016, according to crash data compiled by Streetsblog.

The Amalgamated Transit Union says wide A pillars and poorly-designed mirrors on U.S. buses impede driver vision. The ATU has called for a design fix to reduce the number of pedestrians struck by bus drivers.

Anna Colon was killed in the 9th Precinct, where officers ticket an average of one motorist a day for failing to yield, and in the City Council district represented by Rosie Mendez.

  • Joe R.

    You also have e-bikes, velomobiles, micro electric cars, etc. In short, there is an entire spectrum of personal vehicles of all sorts which works far better in a city than 2 or 3 ton behemoths powered by ICEs of several hundred HP. The problem isn’t the concept of personal transportation, which I’ll admit has a place no matter how great public transit is, but rather the way we go about implementing that transportation.

    As for guns, while I don’t feel everyone should have them, I’m actually far more comfortable with any given average citizen having one than with the same person being able to drive an overpowered behemoth around an urban area.

    Telling most people they can’t drive an f-ing SUV around NYC isn’t the same as saying they’re being forced to use a bike or walk or use a crappy, slow bus. Maybe if regulations made it a lot harder to drive conventional automobiles in a place like NYC we might have a lot more reasonable alternatives to them more suited to cities. Imagine if everyone who drove a car in the city could get by with something half as wide and half as long. Now you suddenly have half the traffic lanes available for something else without reducing street capacity. You also suddenly made things much safer when your average vehicle goes from 2 tons down to a few hundred pounds. You’ll shorten the crossing distance on streets when travel lanes are made narrower. The air gets cleaner as well given that electric drive works perfectly on light vehicles which don’t need a really long range. The combination of those things lets you get by with a lot fewer traffic signals because the smaller, slower vehicles are inherently much safer and much more maneuverable. They’ll also cost a lot less to operate.

    Let’s start thinking of ways people can do what they do now while having less of an impact. I’m less about inconveniencing people than I am about ending what I see as profligate waste in modern living. I’ve often thought is was hilarious that the same generation which made fun of their parent’s 1950s/1960s gas guzzlers often end up driving something far more ridiculous on every level.

  • ahwr

    Everything comes back to traffic signals with you. Did they hurt you as a child?

  • Joe R.

    They’re fine when used where they make sense. Almost anyone with even a passing knowledge of traffic engineering will agree NYC grossly overuses them. Also, we don’t even do anything smart like at least put them on sensors. It’s as dumb as a bag of rocks to force people to stop at completely empty intersections. It wastes time, wastes energy, plus it decreases the respect for red lights. Why do you think so many cyclists and pedestrians (plus a fair number of drivers) ignore red lights in this city? Maybe it has to do with most them being pointless?

  • ahwr

    People ignore speed limits, are they pointless? People don’t yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, is that rule pointless? People smoke and do drugs in parks against stated prohibitions, is that pointless? People walk in bike lanes even though they’re not allowed, should all bike lanes be turned into MUPs? Absent enforcement a lot of people cheat. They come up with justifications like they don’t see the point of doing what they’re told. Is that a reason to throw out all the rules?

    Like I said earlier, every tool needs to be used sparingly.

    Including bike lanes, sidewalks, banning turns for motorists, or banning cars outright, right?

    If traffic signals really made things safer, NYC should be the safest
    place on the planet given that it has more traffic signals per square
    mile than anywhere else by a long shot.

    That’s a logical fallacy. Traffic lights aren’t the only factor that determines safety.

  • Joe R.

    My point is people ignore laws when the laws tell them to do things which make no sense to them, like stop and wait at empty intersections, or drive at a slower speed than the road is designed for, or otherwise micromanage them. If you’re primarily depending upon enforcement for a system to work, then I submit that system is a failure. It doesn’t just apply to traffic laws. Look at the money wasted on the so-called war on drugs. For whatever reason people want to get high in large numbers. I don’t understand it, frankly think it’s stupid, but that’s the reality. Might as well make drugs legal, tax them, regulate them if for no other reason than so lowlifes don’t get rich selling them while turning neighborhoods into shooting galleries.

    An unintended effect of a system of traffic control which is parental in nature is to cause adults to act like children. Like children, they’ll try to get away with whatever they can when they think nobody is watching. The places which have had success reducing traffic violence don’t treat adults like children. They let road users make more decisions but at the same time those road users know there are real consequences if they make bad decisions. In other words, these systems heavily penalize actual bad results but they don’t micromanage every aspect of decision making. As a result, they tend to be safer while still holding drivers accountable. When you take people’s brains out of the loop, you end up with typical American style driving. How many times have we excused drivers who killed people just because a traffic signal gave them the so-called “right-of-way”? Those deaths may not have happened if the driver wasn’t on autopilot, mindless following what the lights tell them to do.

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