Mayor de Blasio Busy Pandering to Motorists Hours After Kids Hit by Driver

Update: De Blasio spokesperson Wiley Norvell sent the following statement: “It’s painful and heartbreaking. Preventing crashes like this is precisely why Mayor de Blasio launched Vision Zero immediately after taking office. A full investigation is underway and the driver has been suspended, pending its outcome.”

You didn’t see Mayor Bill de Blasio talking about the four kids who were hit by a speeding cab driver on a Bronx sidewalk yesterday.

De Blasio could have visited the victims in the hospital. He could have held a press conference at the site of the crash. He could have directed DOT to analyze street conditions at the site and make improvements to help ensure such a crash doesn’t happen again. He could have pledged TLC reforms to get dangerous cab drivers off the streets regardless of whether NYPD or district attorneys file charges after a crash. He could have at least raised public awareness by issuing a statement acknowledging what happened and recommitting his administration to Vision Zero.

He did none of those things. But de Blasio kept his appointment for a nighttime presser on Staten Island, where for the second time in four months he had his picture taken while shoveling asphalt.

When a gas leak caused an explosion and building collapse in Harlem in 2014, the mayor acted swiftly, visiting the scene and issuing a detailed briefing later in the day. Apparently de Blasio didn’t find it necessary to respond when four children were mowed down on a sidewalk.

We have asked the mayor’s office for comment on yesterday’s crash. We’ll have more details on the crash later today.

  • Parent

    This isn’t even a one-off criticism based on the latest news cycle. I actually can’t recall a single time in the last few months where a kid was hit by a driver and City Hall said anything. Does the mayor believe in Vision Zero or doesn’t he? What other signature policy of his could so regularly find itself under assault without comment?

  • Brad Aaron

    Could be wrong but I don’t know of any instance when he’s said anything immediately after a crash.

  • bolwerk

    Yet another de Blasio pattern that was totally predictable before he was even nominated. Like a lot of other stupid things he did (*cough* Bratton).

    Time to push for politicians who don’t use cars. As counter-intuitive as it sounds to pop culture sycophants, it’s the only way to get a high probability that the person you elect isn’t completely fucking clueless about how the majority of New Yorkers live.

    Seriously, the milieu we live in says people who drive are more competent and more together than those who can’t or don’t. It’s probably not true at all. You don’t need to look very far to see car advocates (*cough* Allan Rosen) are Dunning-Krugerred the hilt.

  • FLYINGCHOPSTIK

    I cant recall either

  • Alexander Vucelic

    True – Didn’t JSK bike to work ? Didn’t Bloomberg actually ride the Lexington line ?

  • bolwerk

    Bloomberg seemed pretty non-ideological about that at least.

    He drove a lot too, but at least didn’t expect everyone else to.

  • J

    This would be a good question for De Blasio staff. Has De Blasio ever said anything after a tragedy like this? Or is he simply silent when New Yorker are mowed down in the streets?

  • Jonathan R

    I called my council member to express my worry about being hit by speeding drivers. I was two blocks away from the crash site on Sunday.

  • Maggie

    I don’t think he commented at all after a green taxi driver killed 5-year-old Tierre Clark on the sidewalk this spring.

    Anticipating the response that the mayor can’t comment on every child’s tragic death in the city he leads…

    Tierre died the same week that a house fire tragedy killed 7 siblings in Midwood, Brooklyn. De Blasio expressed sympathy for that family, visited the scene, held a news conference, attended the funeral, and the police department quickly worked with the community to find ways to prevent such a tragedy ever happening again.

    AFAIK (please correct me if I’m wrong), the driver who killed Tierre on the sidewalk was never charged with reckless driving or manslaughter, and still drives a cab for a living on the streets of NYC.

  • WalkingNPR

    Not even the streets: the sidewalk. Forget complete streets and right of way, our “Vision Zero” mayor can’t even take action when it comes to people not being safe on the sidewalk–the only place drivers would tell us we belong.

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