ANOTHER Dead Pedestrian in Brooklyn, This Time in Hit-and-Run

The scene of the woman's death is a crossing of one highway (Pennsylvania Avenue) and another (Linden Boulevard). Photo: Google
The scene of the woman's death is a crossing of one highway (Pennsylvania Avenue) and another (Linden Boulevard). Photo: Google

Another day, another dead pedestrian.

Early this morning, a 62-year-old woman was struck and killed by a hit-and-run along a notoriously dangerous stretch in East New York, police said.

The woman, whose name has not been released pending family notification, was walking across Pennsylvania Avenue near Linden Boulevard at around 1 a.m. when she was struck and killed by the driver of an unidentified vehicle, cops said. Police also claimed that the victim “fell onto the roadway” from the curb, but a spokesperson for the agency could not say why the police believe that.

The intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Linden Boulevard is among the city’s most dangerous intersections in one of its most dangerous neighborhoods for road safety.

In 2019, the last full year before the pandemic dramatically altered driving patterns, there were 112 reported crashes at just that one intersection, injuring one cyclist, one pedestrian and 26 motorists, according to city stats. In the eight years of the de Blasio administration, there were 791 total reported crashes at that one intersection, injuring eight cyclists, 17 pedestrians and 260 motorists.

On just the 1.5 miles of Pennsylvania Avenue between the Belt Parkway and New Lots Avenue, there were 2,768 reported crashes over the same eight-year period, or nearly one crash every day, injuring 38 cyclists, 173 pedestrians and  871 motorists, killing five pedestrians and two drivers.

One of those pedestrian was killed just one block to the south of today’s crash back in November.

It is easy to blame pedestrians, as the police sheet appears to do, but the design of Pennsylvania Avenue does no service to people on foot. Near the area of Tuesday’s fatality, the roadway is designed for quick entrance of cars from the two-lane speedway into chain stores and fast food restaurants flanking the roadway. There are few pedestrians on parts of Pennsylvania Avenue, reducing the well-documented strength in numbers effect.

The roadway has not been redesigned for safety since at least 2013, according to archival photos provided by Google. That last change was the addition of some painted pedestrian space at intersections and a narrowing of the roadway on the residential stretch between Vandalia and Seaview avenues in late 2013, under then-Mayor Bloomberg [PDF].

The pedestrian would be at least the 23rd walker killed by a car driver so far this year — and at least the 49th person killed on the street through March 6. That number is astoundingly high by comparison to historic totals. For instance, the number of people killed by drivers through March 6 of this year is 50 percent higher than over the same period last year — and it’s 65 percent higher than in 2017, which was the safest recent year on record through March 6, according to the Department of Transportation.

Chart: DOT
Chart: DOT

On Jan. 19, Mayor Adams made his lone street safety announcement of his mayoralty, saying he would redesign 1,000 of the city’s worst intersections by the end of this year. The agency has not announced any of the intersections, but has made minor signal-timing changes at an intersection in Ridgewood where a man was struck by two cars in February.

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