Stop Killing Kids: March for Safer NYC Streets on Monday

City motorists have killed no fewer than 24 children age 14 and under since the 2014 launch of the Vision Zero traffic safety program. On Monday, you can demand more from the city.

Kevin Flores, Abigail Blumenstein, and Joshua Lew.
Kevin Flores, Abigail Blumenstein, and Joshua Lew.

In remembrance of the three kids who have lost their lives to motorists in 2018, New Yorkers will march for safer streets on Monday, demanding stronger action from public officials to prevent the vehicular killing of children.

Earlier this week, Dorothy Bruns ran over and killed 4-year-old Abigail Blumenstein and 20-month-old Joshua Lew on Ninth Street at Fifth Avenue in Park Slope. Bruns also injured their mothers, one of whom is pregnant, and a fifth victim when she drove into a crowded crosswalk against the signal.

Local residents have for years asked DOT calm traffic on Ninth Street by adding protected bike lanes. DOT previously said the street was too narrow for such a design, but after Monday’s crash and a subsequent rally outside Mayor de Blasio’s gym dominated the news, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said a Ninth Street redesign, with protected bike lanes, is imminent.

Meanwhile, there have been no announcements of safety upgrades on Lewis Avenue in Bed-Stuy, where oil truck driver Philip Monfoletto struck and killed 13-year-old Kevin Flores as he biked between home and school.

Lewis Avenue at Jefferson Avenue, where Kevin was struck, is one-way with two lanes for parking, each with a painted buffer, but no protection for people on bikes. Crashes at the intersection injured 16 people from 2009 through 2017, according to city data.

Lewis Avenue at Jefferson Avenue. Photo: Google Maps
Lewis Avenue at Jefferson Avenue. Photo: Google Maps

In Bed-Stuy, both Lewis Avenue and its southbound counterpart, Marcus Garvey Boulevard, are no narrower than the Midtown cross streets where DOT plans to install protected bike lanes. The B15 runs on both streets — low-cost bus islands like Oakland is testing out on Telegraph Avenue could be used here to accommodate bus service and protected bike lanes.

Streetsblog has asked DOT if improvements are planned for the street where Kevin Flores was killed. [Update: DOT sent us a statement: “We are currently reviewing potential safety improvements for this location.”]

City motorists have killed no fewer than 24 children age 14 and under since the 2014 launch of the Vision Zero traffic safety program, according to crash data tracked by Streetsblog.

Hosted by Park Slope Neighbors, Bed-Stuy Safe Streets, Borough President Eric Adams, Transportation Alternatives, and other groups, Monday’s march will be in honor of Kevin, Abigail, and Josh.

From the Facebook event page:

NYC Kids March for Safe Streets is inspired by child-led protests against cars in the Netherlands in the 1970s. “Stop the Child-Murder” (in Dutch, Stop de Kindermoord) sparked a dramatic cultural shift, and inspired the Netherlands to reclaim cities and towns from cars, leading to a huge decline in traffic fatalities.

The march will begin at 6 p.m. at Ninth Street and Prospect Park West.

  • Vooch

    Brad,

    Thought you might enjoy this quote from JB Jackson a deep thinker on our landscape

    “”The bicycle had, and still has, a humane, almost classical moderation in the kind of pleasure it offers. It is the kind of machine that a Hellenistic Greek might have invented and ridden. It does no violence to our normal reactions: It does not pretend to free us from our normal environment.”

  • Bernard Finucane

    This is my suggestion for the intersection, and many others like it in the city.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0a63773d2c91ebe19e9b04aad961d977a15e27818d667daee37dbe51b1b8b241.png

    The red line sows where the curb should go. The green circle is a goo place to plant a tree. The black circles indicate the placement of metal and concrete posts to protect pedestrians.

  • AstoriaBlowin

    Looks great, wish we did this at every intersection

  • Bernard Finucane

    Here’s another view looking the other direction

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/28b76a9d8d1b35c909913a4fc4cbeac84b0309535bc8c58f24a3c3b3f2adeea4.png

    The point is that the cross walks are about 34 feet long at this intersection. There is no excuse for them to be more than 12 feet wide on a single lane one way street. There is a bus stop here, but bus stops don’t have to be on street corners.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

DOT Will Close Remaining Gaps in First Avenue Protected Bike Lane

|
Soon there will be a continuous northbound protected bike lane along the length of First Avenue, from Houston Street to the Harlem River. On Monday, the Manhattan Community Board 6 transportation committee voted for DOT’s plan to plug the critical gaps in physical protection near the United Nations and the approach to the Queensboro Bridge [PDF]. From 55th […]