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“New York” Post to Pedestrians: Drop Dead

5:35 PM EDT on October 15, 2009

scared_senior2.jpgCan't make the light in time? In the eyes of the Post, you're a scofflaw.

In case you missed it, the New York Post officially ceded the right to speak for "real New Yorkers" this morning, when it printed a piece of anti-pedestrian pabulum masquerading as a prescription for street safety. Noting that 178 people died while walking or biking in New York City last year, the paper zealously singled out one class of user for the mayhem on our streets: pedestrians.

If only New Yorkers stopped jaywalking, the Post posits, we wouldn't suffer so much needless death and destruction. Adding to a news-ish feature on reckless pedestrians published yesterday, the paper bemoans "jaywalking's steep toll" but says nothing about the rampant speeding and lawless driving that make the simple act of crossing the street so risky. No mention of the fact that many city streets are so wide that elderly New Yorkers can't get across during the allotted time. No indication that the Post editors have the slightest clue about engineering and enforcement improvements like leading pedestrian intervals, red light and speeding cameras, and, most obvious of all, wider sidewalks, which hold the most promise for improving street safety.

It takes a special kind of windshield perspective to look around at the vehicular carnage in New York City -- the hundreds of lives lost and thousands of injuries suffered every year -- and point fingers at the most vulnerable people on the street. You'd think real New Yorkers would recognize that the only way to make our streets safer is to embrace our inherent strength as a walking city. So, I'm curious: Do any Post editors actually live here?

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