TODAY’S CARNAGE: Kill a Man With Your Car — Walk Away with a Traffic Ticket
A driver ran over and killed a senior citizen on a notorious Bay Ridge precinct block last Wednesday night — and walked away with a mere traffic summons, cops said today.
At around 7:10 p.m. on June 1, Deshui Wang, 70, was crossing 65th Street near the intersection of Fourth Avenue — the same block on which is located the 68th Precinct stationhouse — when he was struck by the 53-year-old driver of a Jeep Liberty SUV who was “traveling along 65th Street, through the intersection of Fourth Avenue,” the police statement said. Wang was struck “in the vicinity of the crosswalk … by the front of the vehicle and was thrown to the pavement,” police added.
He died on the scene, police said, hastening to add, “The operator of the Jeep was not injured.” (A 2008 Jeep Liberty weighs 3,985 to 4,269 pounds and protects its driver in a case of steel.)
The driver was issued summonses for “failure to obey a traffic control device” and failure to yield to a pedestrian, both traffic tickets. Police did not release the driver’s name or answer follow-up questions.
The police report raises several questions. There is not a traffic control device at the intersection where Wang was struck. And it is impossible to drive on 65th Street “through” the intersection with Fourth Avenue, as 65th Street, which is a westbound roadway, starts at Fourth Avenue.
At the intersection, the Department of Transportation has created angled parking, which narrows the roadway (which gets narrowed even further when drivers double-park, as they frequently do on the block, which is also home to the 68th Precinct stationhouse, where illegal parking by NYPD officers is common.
Advocates have long called for Bay Ridge to enter the modern era of road safety redesigns, but the neighborhood has no protected bike infrastructure at all. In fact, the city’s ambitious redesign of Fourth Avenue between Atlantic Avenue and Bay Ridge ends just a block from where Wang was killed.
Fourth Ave.’s traffic calming measures—the protected bike lane and expanded pedestrian areas—end at 64th St. because Community Board 10 overwhelmingly rejected them and @NYC_DOT doesn’t push projects in places that need them if CBs and councilmembers don’t want them. https://t.co/a1RNqpGQo7
— Bike South Brooklyn! (@BikeSouthBklyn) June 8, 2022
As a result of these design and behavior flaws, there are an astounding number of crashes on the block. According to city stats, since January 2018, there have been 155 reported crashes on that single block, injuring nine cyclists, one pedestrian and 46 motorists.
Over the same period on the next comparable westbound block — 67th Street, which also starts at Fourth Avenue — has had seven reported crashes, injuring just one motorists. Here’s what that looks like, graphically:
This is a map of crashes since 2018 on two Bay Ridge blocks — one with a police stationhouse (right), one without. The location of the 68th Precinct house is circled. Graphic: Crashmapper
Death continues to stalk New York City streets, according to the year-to-date fatality chart created by the Department of Transportation: