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Carnage

A Pedestrian Death in Queens Highlights a Year of Carnage

It's a reminder that 2023 is on pace to be one of the bloodiest years on New York City streets during the now-11-year Vision Zero era.

Photo: Google|

This is where the pedestrian was struck … twice.

A pedestrian was killed by two-hit-and-run drivers on a notorious eastern Queens street late on Sunday — a reminder that 2023 is on pace to be one of the bloodiest years on New York City streets during the now-11-year Vision Zero era.

According to police, the pedestrian, whose name was not released, was crossing Hempstead Avenue near 223rd Street in Queens Village at around 8 p.m. when he was struck by the driver of a light colored sedan traveling westbound. After that driver fled, a second driver of a light-colored sedan, this one headed eastbound on Hempstead Avenue, struck the pedestrian on the ground before also fleeing.

The NYPD did not have additional information as of 1:15 p.m. today.

Hempstead Avenue is a very dangerous stretch of roadway that connects Belmont Park to Jamaica Avenue. In just the short stretch of the roadway west of the Cross Island Parkway, there have been 71 crashes so far this year, injuring 44 people, according to city stats. The crashes, in part, are a result of a road design that has not been made safer in more than a decade, as the Google photos below show:

Left: The intersection of Hempstead Avenue and 223rd Street in 2013. Right: The same intersection today.Photos: Google

At least 94 pedestrians have been killed this year on city streets, which the Adams administration has consistently touted as a success, given that it represents the lowest number of fatalities through Dec. 12 of any year except the pandemic year. Pedestrian deaths are rising in many cities.

Beyond the slight decrease in pedestrian deaths, the city numbers still tell a horrific tale: Through Dec. 7, 246 people had been killed, which is the second highest number since Vision Zero began in 2013.

All stats are through Dec. 7 of each year.Chart: DOT

And fatalities are only a thin sliver of the story. Injuries from motor vehicles is soaring this year, according to the NYPD.

Citywide, there were 36,330 crashes with injuries between Jan. 1 and Dec. 3, or an average of 108 injury-causing crashes per day. That's up 2.6 percent from the same period last year.

A bloody year.Graphic: NYPD

Those crashes have injured 49,169 people, or 146 people every single day. That's up 4.1 percent from the same period last year.

The number of people injured inside cars is also up 5.1 percent this year. Pedestrian injuries are up 1.6 percent and injuries to cyclists are up 1.5 percent this year.

The danger on New York City streets is increasing in all boroughs except the Bronx, where road violence has previously been disproportionately high. For instance:

  • Statistics in the northern portion of Brooklyn are relatively flat, but in the NYPD precincts comprising Brooklyn South, collisions with injuries are up 5 percent, with both pedestrian injuries and cyclist injuries up 2.6 percent.
  • In Manhattan above 59th Street, collisions with injuries are up 4.7 percent, injuries to pedestrians are up 2.5 percent and injuries to cyclists are up 11.7 percent.
  • In Manhattan below 59th Street, total injuries are up 3.9 percent.
  • In Queens, car drivers are wreaking havoc:
    • In the precincts of Queens North, collisions with injuries are up 7.5 percent, total injuries are up 11.8 percent and pedestrian injuries are up 4.3 percent.
    • In the precincts of Queens South, collisions with injuries are up 4.5 percent, total injuries are up 5.2 percent, pedestrian injuries are up 8.6 percent and cycling injuries are up 35.4 percent.
  • In Staten Island, collisions with injuries are up 5.1 percent, total injuries are up 5.5 percent, pedestrian injuries are up 2.4 percent and injuries to cyclists are up 18.8 percent.

In that context, The Bronx can be considered a bright spot: collisions with injuries are down 4.7 percent so far this year.

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