The Weekly Carnage

On Tuesday afternoon
an apparently "flustered" motorist accelerated her Nissan Maxima over the curb and onto Cadman Plaza in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn. Fortunately, the sedan’s blinged-out rims
and high-performance tires appear to be salvageable. The brand new bus
shelter, clearly, is not. It had only been installed days before.

There is a certain reverence to the scene above. It is as though the masses have gathered at Brooklyn Borough Hall, just across the street from the Department of Transportation’s Brooklyn headquarters, to witness the sacrifice of a virgin bus shelter to the gods of automobility. We hope that such occasional ritual slaughter will appease the gods and prevent them from jumping up on our sidewalks and taking the lives of our children and elderly.

Five bystanders were taken to the hospital, none with life-threatening injuries. With the crash taking place in the back yard of Brooklyn’s court system, ambulance chasing attorneys arrived on the scene long before the ambulances. They descended on the glass-strewn Plaza to hand out business cars to victims and hopefuls. A court employee summed it up for the Post: "It was disgraceful."

Followers of Aaron Donovan’s Weekly Carnage feature will notice that the usual compilation of regional car crashes is not here today. Donovan has started a new job at the MTA’s public affairs office. We wish him luck and thank him for his consistent and meticulous work over the last year-and-a-half.

With Donovan moving on, this seems like a good time to ask what you think about Streetsblog’s Weekly Carnage feature. Does it provide a meaningful contribution to the Livable Streets movement or is it just a big bummer on a Friday morning? Would you like to see our carnage coverage change in any way? The original reasoning behind the Weekly Carnage can be found here. As Donovan explains:

This is a grim and depressing task. But we do it because by drawing
attention to the scope of the problem of the death and destruction
caused automobiles, we hope to also draw attention to the
solution: pursuing policies that cause people to reduce the
amount they drive, while promoting mass transit, walking and cycling.

Car
crashes are typically isolated events with limited resonance beyond the
few people involved or their loved ones. Yet they are a pervasive
societal problem that goes undetected by the collective consciousness
precisely because they are so frequent. This column will hopefully chip
away at public apathy about automobile-caused death and destruction.

Photograph from WNBC/Brian Gibbons – see the whole slideshow

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