Wednesday’s Headlines: Sympathy for Emma Fitzsimmons Edition

The NYPD's Collision Investigation Squad does not play a role in Vision Zero and should be taken away from the NYPD, argues this op-ed. File photo: Gersh Kuntzman
The NYPD's Collision Investigation Squad does not play a role in Vision Zero and should be taken away from the NYPD, argues this op-ed. File photo: Gersh Kuntzman

You really have to feel for Times Metro reporter Emma G. Fitzsimmons. On Tuesday, she dropped what everyone wanted to be a true bombshell: a deep dive into why so many cyclists and pedestrians died on New York roadways last year — and why at least 200 people die in car crashes every year in a supposedly Vision Zero city.

Fitzsimmons’s story had a lot of great reporting, but it was stymied by completely useless information from the NYPD. If you read between the lines, you could see Fitzsimmons struggling to make sense of the NYPD’s incomplete crash narratives, trying to get more information from a public information office that simply won’t provide it, and honestly trying to understand why so few killer drivers are ever charged.

So kudos to Fitzsimmons for doing her best to lay the blame where it belongs — on drivers who speed and distractedly operate their 3,000-pound death cages. “A driver who was not drunk and stayed at the scene of a crash does not usually face serious consequences,” she wrote. “But drivers often behave in ways that increase the likelihood that a crash will happen.” As the kids say, “100!”

Here was the rest of yesterday’s news:

  • Coronavirus central:
    • The MTA vowed to clean subways even better. (NYDN, NY Post)
    • Car traffic is way down as people work from home. (Crain’s)
    • The Post ran a photo spread of how empty the subways are.
    • You can’t fault this Lyft driver for creating a containment room for his customers — gig economy workers don’t get paid sick leave, after all. (NY Post)
    • Council Speaker Corey Johnson has canceled his State of the City address (NY Post), which is too bad because last year’s speech about breaking the car culture kept us filled with stories for weeks.
Stormy is recovering.
Stormy is recovering.
  • Public Advocate Jumaane Williams called for a crackdown on illegal dollar vans like the one that nearly killed a cyclist over the weekend. (NYDN, amNY)
  • Both Gothamist and Streetsblog covered the case of the missing protected bike lane!
  • The city said it will look at a safer design for the intersection where Frank Decolvenaere was killed by a speeding driver (Brooklyn Reporter). Meanwhile, his injured puppy, Stormy, went home from treatment at the Veterinary Emergency Referral Group in Bay Ridge. The doctors sent over pictures.
  • And, finally, did you see how the president was trolling us yesterday with an almost entirely fact-free tweet? All he left out was the @streetsblognyc tag (hint, hint, Mr. 73 Million Followers):

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