Pedestrian Seriously Injured in Park Slope Crash as Bloody Year Continues

Hours after the crash, another pedestrian in a crosswalk was nearly hit at the same intersection. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Hours after the crash, another pedestrian in a crosswalk was nearly hit at the same intersection. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

A pedestrian was critically injured when the 21-year-old driver of a massive Ford van slammed into him in Park Slope — and the latest analysis of crash data shows that such injuries remain all too common.

According to police, the 50-year-old victim was crossing 15th Street in the west crosswalk when he was slammed by the Econoline van driver as the driver turned off northbound Seventh Avenue onto 15th. The victim was hustled to Methodist Hospital, where he remains in critical condition. The driver remained on the scene and was not charged, though if the driver had the green light, so did the pedestrian, suggesting that a failure to yield ticket would be a bare minimum.

Police declined to comment, saying only that the investigation is ongoing.

Chart: DOT
Click to enlarge. Chart: DOT

The latest critical injury comes amid a second bloody year in a row on New York City streets. This year through Monday, according to the Department of Transportation, 207 people have been killed in crashes, which is down from the same period last year, but the second highest going back to 2015, the first full year of the Vision Zero initiative.

Deaths are one measure of the danger on New York streets, but injuries are sometimes more telling. According to the NYPD, 42,037 people were injured in crashes between Jan. 1 and Oct. 30, or roughly 138 per day. The total number of injuries is roughly consistent with last year, but 6,658 pedestrians have been injured this year, which is up nearly 18 percent over the same period last year. And 3,980 cyclists have been injured this year, which is up 2.5 percent over last year.

Pedestrian injuries are up significantly in Brooklyn and Queens. But the most dangerous place to be a pedestrian right now is Staten Island. The NYPD stats show that so far this year, 276 walkers have been injured, which is up more than 55 percent over last year. Pedestrian injuries are up 23 percent in Queens and 17.5 percent in Brooklyn.

Fatalities, however, are highest in The Bronx, where crashes killed 47 people during the first nine months of 2022 — up 31 percent from the same period in 2021, according to Transportation Alternatives in its latest crash analysis put out today.

Chart: Transportation Alternatives
Chart: Transportation Alternatives

Other quarterly numbers offer bad news. According to the same analysis:

  • hit-and-runs involving critical injury nearly doubled compared in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the second quarter of the year — from 16 to 30.
  • Traffic violence killed 16 children under 18 in the first nine months of 2022 — at least 23 percent higher than any full year under Vision Zero and five more than were killed in all of 2021. Of those 16 children, 13 were killed in crashes involving a large vehicle, such as an SUV, pickup truck, van, or buse. (That includes a highway crash and the multiple fatalities in a crash on Hylan Boulevard that involved excessive speeding.)

“Vision Zero works when our leaders scale proven solutions that prevent traffic violence,” said Danny Harris, the group’s executive director. “Mayor Adams’s completion of more than 1,200 intersection safety upgrades is proof that this administration can deliver on its goals. Now, we need the Adams administration to demonstrate the same commitment to meet and exceed other requirements, like the NYC Streets Plan.”

The crash numbers “show that New York City is not doing enough to stem the rising wave of traffic violence,” added Sara Lind of Open Plans (our sister organization). “Our streets and sidewalks are still designed to cater to vehicles, especially in marginalized areas, and it has created a deadly environment.”

Chart: Transportation Alternatives
Chart: Transportation Alternatives

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