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Monday’s Headlines: Road Safety is No Accident Edition

There were two big stories over the weekend — and both were about street safety. Plus other news.

Photo: Josh Katz|

Protesters demanded a safer McGuinness Boulevard on Friday.

There were two big stories over the weekend — and both were about street safety.

First, on Friday, supporters of street safety gathered again on McGuinness Boulevard to demand that the city finish the job of redesigning the entire roadway between the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Pulaski Bridge so that it is safe.

If you remember, last year, the mayor signed off on street safety improvements for McGuinness north of Calyer Street, but punted a decision on the southern stretch of the roadway due to opposition from a politically connected production company and some car owners whose understanding of road safety is embodied by their group's name: Keep McGuinness Moving.

The Department of Transportation has revealed no timeline for when it will continue the project, citing vague "traffic" analysis. Meanwhile, since August, when the mayor announced his watered-down plan, there have been 18 reported crashes on McGuinness, injuring 10 people, according to city stats.

The issue of safety was front and center in the early evening on Saturday, when the driver of a Honda SUV ran over and killed a 5-year-old boy on 124th St. in Queens. Both the Daily News and the Post blamed the child, whose name has not been released by police, but the initial police narrative merely said that the boy entered the roadway from in-between two parked vehicles before the driver struck and killed him. (The coverage in amNY was a bit more balanced.)

Kids run. Kids play. The punishment for that should never be death. But unlike most of the media, which will call this fatality another unavoidable "accident," it's not an accident at all; it's a choice: a choice to line both sides of every street with cars so that our littlest residents can't be seen by drivers who simply go too fast to react.

The Post had a picture of the car in question, but didn't bother to run the plate. If it had, it would have discovered that the driver of this car got a speeding ticket on May 13 and ran a red light on April 18. So don't call this an "accident." It was a choice.

In other news:

  • First, from the Assignment Desk: Today at 10 a.m., the DOT and Lyft will show off (at long last!) the first two Citi Bike docking stations that can also charge electric bikes, thanks to a direct connection to the grid. We've been covering this story for what seems like actually is years, so we're excited for the first phase of a bike share system that doesn't rely on guys in vans swapping out batteries. The event will be at the Citi Bike station at West 35th Street and Ninth Avenue.
  • The Daily News, the Post and Gothamist covered Friday's hearing on three of the congestion pricing lawsuits, but there wasn't really any news ... yet.
  • And you think your commute is bad! (NY Post)
  • Man, the New York Times just loves cars!
  • A police officer struck and killed a man on the Van Wyck Expressway. (amNY)
  • Hey, DOT and EDC: There is federal funding available for ferries, says former federal transit man Larry Penner. (Mass Transit)
  • And, kudos to my daughter for graduating from college!
To be clear, no Aperol Spritzes were spilled in the incident.

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