Eyes on the Street: Collision Leaves NYU Bus on Greenwich Village Sidewalk

Photo: Philip Winn

A two-vehicle collision left an NYU bus on a Greenwich Village sidewalk this morning, in an NYPD precinct where speed enforcement, for all intents and purposes, is non-existent.

Tipster Philip Winn snapped these photos at Lafayette Street and E. 4th Street at around 9:30 a.m., after the second vehicle, a passenger car, had been towed away. FDNY got the call at 8:26, according to a spokesperson. The NYU bus was on the sidewalk at the northeast corner of the intersection, with windows shattered, according to another witness.

An employee with NYU buses told Winn both drivers were injured. One person was transported to Bellevue Hospital, FDNY said.

Chad Marlow, a member of Community Board 3, wrote to EV Grieve:

“I passed by the NYU bus this morning. Couldn’t get too close because my kids were with me and it didn’t look good. The bus definitely collided pretty violently with a black car (not certain if private or livery). When I passed by there were two fire trucks and at least one ambulance on the scene. It looked like the firefighters were making an effort to pry open the black car.”

Motor vehicles operated on NYC surface streets should never collide with enough force to cause serious injury to vehicle occupants, much less require the jaws of life. Fortunately, this crash that ended with at least one vehicle on a sidewalk apparently did not result in a pedestrian being injured or killed.

A study conducted by doctors and researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center found that 6 percent of pedestrians injured by motorists were struck while on a sidewalk. No fewer than three NYC pedestrians have died at the hands of curb-jumping motorists in recent weeks, with many more known injured. Just days ago a motorist hit up to 10 people on a sidewalk in East Flatbush, leaving four in critical condition, including a 2-year-old child who was reported brain dead. Curb-jumping drivers have recently inflicted serious injuries upon seniors in Manhattan and Queens.

Photo: Philip Winn

This crash occurred in the 9th Precinct, where officers issued 11 speeding tickets in all of 2012. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Deputy Inspector John G. Cappelmann, the commanding officer, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 9th Precinct council meetings happen at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at precinct, 321 E. 5th Street. Call 212-477-7805 for information.

This crash occurred on the border of City Council districts represented by Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez. To urge Chin and Mendez to take action to improve street safety in their districts and citywide, contact them at 212-788-7259 and 212-788-7366, respectively, or @CM_MargaretChin and @RosieMendez.

  • Ben Kintisch

    That area is so crowded with pedestrians, it’s kind of a miracle that no one was killed or maimed on the sidewalk.

    In Europe, sidewalk bollards are everywhere, and while it took a while to adjust to (watch out, fellas!) now I get it – they provide some separation and protection for vulnerable pedestrians on the sidewalks.

  • Ben Kintisch

    …..so maybe it’s time to start installing them here in NYC.

  • Andrew

    Nearly one speeding ticket per month. Fantastic! Who needs speed cams?

  • Morrris

    “In Europe, sidewalk bollards are everywhere”

    No, they are not! In some countries they are rare. They are an eyesore and would cause huge problems for street cleaning and snow removal.

    But you are right about bollards and fences everywhere in the UK. Why? Sidewalk bollards are a sign that there is something wrong with the layout of the street (too many/wide car lanes -> speeding) or the use of the street (roads for through traffic vs residential streets). Pedestrians hate them, cyclists fear being crushed against them.

  • Ian Turner

    Paris has bollards all over the place. Is it also a city wrongly laid out?

    Personally, I strongly prefer walking on a street with bollards, it means that I can relax instead of watching out for speeding traffic.

  • Brad Aaron

    Get what you mean about bollards as a substitute for safe street design, but I see them as one of those safety elements.

    Like @7c177865bd107a919938355fe93de93a:disqus said, I’d rather have bollards everywhere — they don’t have to be an eyesore, and some designs actually add character to the streetscape — and not worry about being crushed against a building every time I go outside.

  • EVKeith

    I passed by the scene about 8:40am on the way to school with my kid. Front end of the passenger car was completely demolished….can’t imagine that kind of damage resulting from legal speeds. On Lafayette St heading north from Houston its off to the races until they have to slow down (slightly) for the curve at Astor Place.

  • Anonymous

    I think Andrew referred to NYPD objection to speed cameras because “they can’t replace life policing”. Although I guess they can. Easily.

  • Morrris

    I haven’t been to Paris so I can’t say anything about it. And I have to agree the some bollards aren’t as ugly as the cattle fences so prominent in the UK. But you have to have a bollard every few feets lest a car will find a gap. Why not build a concrete barrier? 😛

    The bollards and fences also a hazard for cyclists who have to worry about being crushed against them. Of course, bollards and fences and barriers built to keep the cars away from cycle lanes are just fine! 😀


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