Can We Really Stop All Traffic Deaths?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Families of traffic fatalities attending Mayor BilldeBlasio's announcement about preventing future deaths. (Brigid Bergin/WNYC)

Lindsey Ganson, chief operating officer for Transportation Alternatives, co-author of the 2011 report "VISION ZERO: How Safer Streets in New York City Can Save More Than 100 Lives a Year"(PDF), talks about Mayor de Blasio's new working group to reduce the number of traffic fatalities in NYC to zero.



Lindsey Ganson

Comments [75]

Al Cinamon from Yonkers

I find it laughable how drivers hold pedestrians to high standards. Anybody can be a pedestrian. No training is required, no testing, no licensing. But, drivers on the other hand, do get training in how to drive safely, they must pass a safety test and then are rewarded with a license if they want to accept the responsibility to drive safely. But it seems that a license these days is a license to kill.

Feb. 19 2014 09:37 AM
gene bray


Jan. 18 2014 06:37 AM
martha from Gpt

How will cameras calm traffic? like London street cameras, they capture criminal infractions AFTER the harm is done. This is superstition. Will a camera stop a driver turning left into a person in an intersection with the right of way? After the sad deaths of a Wmsbg couple and their unborn child at the hands of a livery driver, councilman Levin called for cameras. Useless.
Further, we must distinguish between red-light and speed cameras, a distinction not made clear. Red-light cameras are revenue generators, pure and simple, yet we have those, not speed cameras. I got a ticket turning left on a Sunday on the deserted West Side Hwy, for entering the intersection half a second after the light turned red. It was after a storm and there was nary a car for block upon block. While here on McGuinness Blvd, In GPT, cars speed unchecked, and I predict will continue to do so, although a woman was killed a month ago.COPS are the best enforcers but only troll for busted headlights….

Growing up here I saw cops directing traffic at many intersections and ticketing for even small infractions. THAT imposes driver discipline. Not randomly sited cameras.

Jan. 16 2014 09:31 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Alex from Jersey Bergen county from New Jersey,

How many miles?
How long in time?
What about steep climbs like Main Street?
How many other riders do you see?

Jan. 16 2014 05:38 PM
Alex from Jersey Bergen county from New Jersey

Drivers from NJ should be charged a congestion fee for entering midtown. We need less cars and more bikes. I red my bike over the GWB 18 miles from Hackensack to lower Manhattan for work. There's no reason why jersey drivers should drive in when there is NJT OR BIKES to get you across?!

Jan. 16 2014 04:59 PM
Leon Greenberg

Ms. Ganson and the and many of the callers were totally off the mark. First
going back to the Lindsay administration, Mayor Lindsay hired Henry Barnes
former traffic commissioner of Cleveland, Ohio who's traffic system there worked seamlessly. I know this very well because I visited Cleveland several times in in 1955/56 and it working extremely well however, as is always the case he was not allowed to implement it because of politics. Had that not been the case Manhattan traffic congestion in the Garment Center and streets below 34th street would have flowed seamlessly. Implemented throughout the city it would have been totally successful.

Related to the above Mayor Blumberg has touted the increase in NYC population and I think that Mayor DeBlasio has picked up on that theme as well. I say for both of them it is clearly unreality thinking but clear political hyperbole.

All those involved in the issue of Traffic Administration are rushing to put up and have installed Speed Cameras. To that how many relatively innocent drivers going 1-2 miles over the posted speed limit will be ticketed by mail? They are calling for more police where are the funds coming from. Add to this Police for Cell Phone and Texting while driving
violations it is an impossible situation and is impossible to enforce. Again, where is the money coming from to hire this phantom police force

The fact is they can't really handle the issue simply because there are too many of us that make up the population of this city as a result we are choking and those incapable in the various agencies have no real solutions except to hammer the public into submission.

When it comes to those comprising the Livery Drivers population,the vast majority being immigrants and I say the following without any bias that they live here and think there. Depending on what country they arrived here from the culture and vehicle traffic patterns they were exposed to predicates to a great degree their driving patterns here.

We are in a difficult situation which cannot be addressed by hammering people into submission by inept politicians and that may include the new admisnistration.

Jan. 16 2014 12:44 PM
Tina from Queens

I read ALL the comments.
Men's comments, in general, suggest more punishment for the offenders.
Women's comments suggest more education and dialog for both the offenders and victims.
I wonder which one would yield a better result?

Jan. 16 2014 12:13 PM

Reduce speed limits to 20mph or 25 with strict enforcement on all streets with pedestrians. City council has a bill to reduce speed on residential streets but this does not apply to avenues and it must. We have schools and senior centers that are destinations with hundreds crossing busy intersections to reach them. Any where else in the country cars have to drop speed to 15 or 20 mph. Seniors and students cross avenues and cars and trucks turn off them and go through crosswalks too fast and without yielding to pedestrians too often. Also, empower enforcement by police and the crossing guards and parking police, at 5mph above speed limits and for failure to yield at crosswalks.
I am still alive because the car that drove over my bike was going slow enough that I was able to kick on the front bumper and stay in front of the car until it stopped.

Jan. 16 2014 12:06 PM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ rob from Bloomfield

You wrote:

"When I come to NYC..."

Enough said. Next time you spot a jaywalking pedestrian safely pull over to the side of the street, put on your hazards and chase that person down and "educate" them. Please do that. Please.

Jan. 16 2014 11:47 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ Mitch from Manhattan

You wrote:

"The shortsightedness of our city forefathers is now our problem."

I think you mean Robert Moses. Urban Renewal had clients, Kahn was a piker by comparison. What a great idea for a book though, the parallels in their lives are fascinating, especially the implicit eastern vs. german jewish rivalry.

Jan. 16 2014 11:44 AM
rob from Bloomfield

It seems that we are ignoring the elephant in the room. Bratton commented at last nights news conference, that in incursions with pedestrians, 73% of the time the pedestrian was not obeying traffic laws. When I come to NYC I am amazed at the total disregard pedestrians have for properly crossing the street. Diblasio commented on "Educating Pedestrians" , If the light tells you that there are 3 second before the light changes as you try to cross 6 lanes of traffic, you need a lot of education.
Yes, aggressively target and ticket reckless speeding drivers, absolutely. However, if the careless pedestrian is not also addressed , this will fail.

Jan. 16 2014 11:35 AM
Mitch from Manhattan

Architect Louis Kahn created a design for NYC that respected the pedestrian nature of our city while recognizing the inevitability of the automobile back before things got so out of hand. He envisioned car-free pedestrian zones with significant public transportation while private motor vehicles were sequestered to holding areas around the edges. He was ignored by commercial interests back then. The shortsightedness of our city forefathers is now our problem. It is impossible to turn the clock back now, but if we aim for a goal of zero traffic deaths, we should also look at the idealistic vision of Louis Kahn which represents some of the best ideas for balancing pedestrian interests with our addiction to the automobile.

Jan. 16 2014 11:34 AM
Mark from Brooklyn

Here's a suggestion that I haven't heard anyone mention: Make sure all police cars follow the traffic laws. Make sure officers don't run red lights, don't text, don't turn on red, don't speed, etc... *when they're not responding to an emergency.*

I walk around my neighborhood all the time and see police officers stopping at red lights, quickly looking both ways and then going through them. Yes, sometimes these officers are responding to emergency - they should have their lights or sirens on if they are - but I can tell that often they are not. They are just on patrol and feel like they don't have to stop at red lights because they are the law. I see police officers texting while driving all the time. This isn't acceptable under any circumstances. How can we expect traffic laws to be enforced if the enforcers are clearly not abiding by the rules? It's really upsetting because it shows that they don't take traffic laws seriously. And they are setting an example that traffic laws aren't really that serious.

Then I see police watch people run red lights, plow through crosswalks, bikes go on sidewalks, motorized bikes go on sidewalks or go the wrong way on one-way streets and they just turn the other way and keep on doing what they're doing. The only time I really see police officers enforcing traffic laws is when they're sent out at the end of the month to get a bunch of summons and tickets and they're specifically looking for traffic violations. If we want this very serious issue to get better then police need to have a completely different attitude. They should treat their cars as carefully as they treat their weapons. They should only violate traffic laws when it's an emergency and they have their lights and sirens on to let us know that they're responding to an emergency. If they see any traffic violation they should treat it as a serious issue that needs to be stopped right then - not just as a source of revenue that they look for every once in a while.

This is the only way things will change.

Jan. 16 2014 11:33 AM
Karen Gourgey

Accessible pedestrian signals are an important component of safer streets. Leading pedestrian intervals were mentioned by your guest and a caller. But for people who travel with reduced eye sight, we are listening for parallel traffic as our cue to cross. We lose that cue if an lpi is present without an accessible signal to let us know when the walk signal is on. At 23rd street and 7th avenue in Manhattan, accessible pedestrian signals were installed in 2011. Since the installation, DOT reports that traffic accidents at that intersection have declined significantly. It would be extremely relevant to study the correlation between presence of accessible pedestrian signals and reduction in vehicular-pedestrian accidents.Anecdotally, we know that wheelchair users, older adults and many others benefit from these signals.

Jan. 16 2014 11:32 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

It seems to me from reading these comments that the DOT should have a site where people can post observations in their neighborhoods so the DOT can check them out and decide on solutions. Venting here is fine, but for real work to get done, we need to report the issues to the top of the food chain at the correct agency.

DOT: Are you willing to have a page for these traffic complaints?

NYPD: Are you willing to enforce existing laws if the DOT tells you there's a problem at a certain location?

Jan. 16 2014 11:32 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ Jack from Manhattan

The autism is strong in you, I can feel it.

- Mr. Bad Yoda

Jan. 16 2014 11:31 AM
M. L. from Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Speed cameras were set up in Maryland, where my parents live, a few years ago. From my experience, it's the only thing that has gotten drivers to consistently slow down. Because drivers don't know if they'll be ticketed for going even five miles above the speed limit, most won't risk speeding. One problem I noticed, however, was with 35mph-limit streets bordering residential areas. The speed limit seemed too low given how much of a thoroughfare these streets are and how much traffic they carry.

Jan. 16 2014 11:30 AM
JD Reynolds from CT

Reckless and erratic driving is the problem! Speed, by itself, is seldom the cause of accidents. All cameras do is send citations to speeders, not the truly bad and dangerous drivers. Distracted drivers still populate the streets and unsafe vehicles continue to be allowed on the roads, with the elimination of true State inspections. Many accidents are caused by unaware or incapacitated elderly who do not need to prove they can drive for the rest of their lives.

Let's get police officers out into the traffic looking for bad drivers and careless pedestrians and bicyclists. You seldom see these people from parked patrol cars.

Jan. 16 2014 11:29 AM
Edward from Washington Heightgs AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

stefano from 11206 said:

> Yellow light make cars speed. it is great when there is a countdown that shows how many seconds I have to cross the intersection (both for peds and cars).

You really think that a countdown timer won't get people to speed up to beat the clock???

Jan. 16 2014 11:28 AM
Amy K. from Manhattan

We also need more signs for "not turn on red" to warn CT & NJ drivers. We see lots of these coming off of the West Side Hwy. in our neighborhood!

Jan. 16 2014 11:27 AM
Jacob from Stamford, CT

In Moscow, when people cross the streets, they do so underground. At most intersections, you just walk down below the street and cross that way. Also the whole system connects the subway with these underground cross walks. They even have shops down there.

Jan. 16 2014 11:26 AM
mk from Brooklyn

Brian - It is possible that already more people are killed by automobile than gun. Not ALL murder victims are shot - many are stabbed, others strangled or beat to death. Could you please look into this and correct your comment.

Jan. 16 2014 11:25 AM
Jack from Manhattan

Ms Ganson states that her father had every bone in his body broken in a pedestrian accident. There are 206 bones in the adult body. I hardly think that this was the case. It is just this kind of hysterical hyperbole that works against her espoused cause.

Jan. 16 2014 11:25 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

As usual, technology will be the answer: self-driving cars. Humans are too irresponsible.

Jan. 16 2014 11:23 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ ALL Jaywalking posters from LI, CT and NJ

Get out of that friggin' SUV and remind me I'm jaywalking you coward instead of laying on the horn while texting, screaming at your stupid kids and fiddling with the radio. Jaywalking is BS. Your climate controlled 2 ton mobile entertainment center/killing machine should be able to keep you amused for a few moments if I cross a little late... Make the speed limit 10 MPH in Manhattan and 25 in the outer boroughs. Problem solved.

Jan. 16 2014 11:22 AM
Anonymous from Brooklyn

There is an intersection in Brooklyn, at Flushing Ave and Irving (and Melrose and Varick, it is a large intersection), and GARBAGE TRUCKS regularly go wrong way down a small stretch of Varick Ave. I see them doing it maybe 3-5 times a week, which means that it happens much more than that. At this location, there is a memorial for someone who has been killed. Still, the garbage trucks take that turn aggressively, faster than they should, and ILLEGALLY, without giving a &#$% (I see the grin on their faces as they see me walking bellow). These drivers, like the livery cab drivers, are hopped up on their 4th red bull, rushing to get home so that they can finish their shift. Something must be done to stop this.

Jan. 16 2014 11:21 AM
Katherine from Brooklyn

Why not have a green light for pedestrians and one for traffic? I heard somewhere that NYC used to have this. Seems like a simple solution, although I'm sure some pedestrians would still try to cross on red.

Re cameras in school zones: Do most fatalities occur within school zones? Certainly we want to protect our children but there are major thoroughfares, like Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, where drivers pay little or no attention to pedestrians and drive like they're on the BQE.

How many pedestrian accidents are there involving bikes? There need to be strict rules (and enforcement of them) for bikes, plus requiring a light at night, a bell or something like it at all times,

Jan. 16 2014 11:21 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Get rid of the taxis - yellow and gypsy.

There are too many and the drivers are reckless and cause loss of life. The taxis cause too much traffic.

Have more buses - a lot more - electric.

Jan. 16 2014 11:19 AM

I live in Queens and own a car, I feel and understand the frustrations of driving in NYC. I also understand that I am in a machine that can kill and maim people regardless of what a pedestrian is doing. Too often this culture of us versus them take away from the common sense of what is really at hand. I see everyday on my corner cars going through red lights, the wrong way down one way streets, making illegal u-turns and sometimes driving up on the sidewalks. I have a young son and it scares me to no end. Being that NY is such a diverse place, nothing short of draconian laws will help stem the lawlessness I see on the streets everyday in my neighborhood. In many country's car is king and pedestrians must yield. NY is a pedestrian city and I have high hopes that our new mayor will tackle this head on. The city seems to have a higher focus on parking infractions then traffic safety, so it's obviously a money issue there. Why not insanely expensive tickets for running red lights or speeding?

Jan. 16 2014 11:19 AM
April from Upper West Side


Jan. 16 2014 11:18 AM
Rich from Manhattan

As someone who drives to and around the city on a daily basis (for 12 years) I've seen a lot of crazy things. My comment: the cops don't do their job. They don't pull people over. Worse they even break the traffic rules on a regular basis (esp when not in an emergency) simply because they can't wait at a red light or in traffic. All that does is inspire other drivers on the road to not obey the same laws. They need to start leading by example.

Jan. 16 2014 11:18 AM
Lissnah from NJ

It's a nightmare to bike or drive in NYC because pedestrians constantly j-walk. Too many autos - too many people sharing the same space. Good public transportation would solve it.

Jan. 16 2014 11:17 AM
erin from Brooklyn

I'm a driver, a cyclist and a pedestrian. I'm tired of hearing complaints from drivers that pedestrians and cyclists break the rules of the road. Drivers seem to forget that they're in control of a piece of machinery that can kill a pedestrian or a cyclist instantly. A car or truck is a luxury and a privilege, and a responsibility to the community to use it properly and courteously.

Jan. 16 2014 11:17 AM
Jim from NYC

is it true speeding ticket revenue goes to the state?
parking ticks go to city?

Jan. 16 2014 11:16 AM
mick from Inwood

I was in Lima, Peru in October and part of November. I found the traffic was extremely chaotic since many busy intersections had no stop lights. But instead they made great use of speed bumps, so the traffic could not speed through the intersections. The most aggressive drivers may have gone first, but all the cars were going so slowly that everyone had time to react appropriately. In six weeks, I saw no accidents at intersections. (The major intersections with stop lights used countdown signals for both pedestrians and cars.)

Jan. 16 2014 11:16 AM
Ed from Westchester

As a native Brooklynite, I've grew up walking all around the city.

Now, I have to drive into the city and Brooklyn every week to care for a relative.

Easy places to begin...

1. Have police enforce traffic infractions in regards to Car Service + Cabs.
They drive extremely slow to troll for customers, while holding up traffic behind them.
Or they basically parking in a crosswalk while waiting for customer, thus causing traffic to have to drive around them in a dangerous manner.

2. Have the police enforce proper lights and driving rules for restaurant delivery people on those electric bikes and mopeds that drive wherever they please.

Jan. 16 2014 11:16 AM

Narrowing lanes or creating zig-zag patterns the way they do in France is not the best way to slow traffic. People then just run into curbs.

Jan. 16 2014 11:16 AM
Joe E

The caller who called in about intersections being too cluttered is spot on. There's too much cognitive dissonance to manage and the additional bike lanes which I support nonetheless invite more pedestrian accidents.

Jan. 16 2014 11:15 AM
will from williamsburg

Two people were struck on the upper west side last friday. One was a nine year old boy who was crossing legally in the crosswalk, and he was killed. NI CHARGES WERE FILED in either, the man who killed the child received a failure to yield citation. Why?

Jan. 16 2014 11:15 AM
kate from Manhattan

It seems like this is also a problem of coordination and communication. There needs to be a better OVERALL plan for traffic of all kinds -- people, cars and bikes -- and then a communication plan for what the rules are for crossing streets, driving and biking. The problem is NOT just cars, although that is a major problem. This is the responsibility of pedestrians and bikers. No more ear buds, darting mid street to cross, no more running the yellow light, no more biking through an intersection when you have a red light.

Jan. 16 2014 11:14 AM
J M from UWS

Until you eliminate vehicles and pedestrians moving at the same time, as is the case in most cities in the civilized world, you will not eliminate driver on pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

A pedestrian should be given the right of way at a crosswalk. Period.

Also there should be consequences for drivers who hit pedestrians. Unless someone gets killed or the driver is DUI the driver doesn't even get a ticket.

Jan. 16 2014 11:14 AM

Camera locations should be publicized, where are driver's rights in all this? Does this individual or others in her agency actually drive in New York? They're punitively regulating drivers before putting in the road safety and design alternatives she's mentioning.

Jan. 16 2014 11:13 AM
Elizabeth Marks from Upper west side

As someone who is behind the wheel almost every day, what I have observed is the number of people simply walking into the street, at an intersection and more frequently mid-block, which has more to do with the pedestrian being so engrossed in their cell phone that they are completely unaware of their surroundings, rather than driver error. I've had people physically walk into my car when I'm stopped at a red light, and somehow that's my fault?

Jan. 16 2014 11:13 AM
Leo from Central Jersey

What about pedestrians walking across the street eyes fixed on cellphone screens?

If driving while texting is bad, isn't walking across the street while texting/screen reading dangerous?

Jan. 16 2014 11:13 AM
stefano from 11206

And at last I totally agree with caller that mentioned that traffic lights are too high (and also other traffic signs). Yellow light make cars speed. it is great when there is a countdown that shows how many seconds I have to cross the intersection (both for peds and cars).

YES cab drivers cut 3 lanes, block the traffic to pick up fares. It is so dangerous. They should be able to do that by stopping close to the curb by a fire hydrant. That would solve the problem and make good use of that free space that is underused when there is no fire on the block

Jan. 16 2014 11:13 AM
elizabeth from Kingston, NY

What about doing what they do in Europe? Pedestrians & cars have DIFFERENT green lights.

Jan. 16 2014 11:13 AM
Lilly from manhattan

How about enforcement? Get the traffic police OUT of their cars! Bloomberg passed no idling law and the traffic police issued 10 fines in 1 year! We need a total re-education and enforcement of traffic police. Most of the time you see them looking at their phones, hunkering down in their cars or sitting in coffee shops. I even talked to them personally and ask: There are 5 cars on this block idling, why don't you fine them. The answers were : What is idling? That's not illegal, I don't have time to wait 3 minutes (what the law requires) , that is not our job but police job etc.
Speed cameras won't work if they are too lazy to check them and write the fines.
Police keeps saying they don't have money to hire more people, and money is sitting on our streets waiting for them to pick it up.

Jan. 16 2014 11:13 AM
Marie from Manhattan

Everyone has to take responsibility - drivers, bikers and pedestrians because they all violate the laws. The traffic patrol (the folks who direct traffic) should be give authority to give tickets to everyone who ignores them.

Jan. 16 2014 11:12 AM
Caesar Romaine from manhattan

How many tickets did the NYPD give to pedestrians for jaywalking in 2013? How many tickets did the NYPD give to cars in crosswalks while the pedestrian has the right of way in 2013? I'm guessing not too many. Perhaps if they just enforced existing laws we wouldn't need the new cameras.

Jan. 16 2014 11:12 AM
Karen from NYC

More cars than pedestrians stop for red lights or otherwise obey traffic signals. Pedestrians jaywalk. Everywhere. All the time.

Jan. 16 2014 11:11 AM
Diana from Manhattan

How many drivers realize they are jumping a red light when they are waiting in the middle of Broadway and simply wait for no traffic to come to cross? Pedestrians are meanwhile crossing the street with a green light on their pedestrian light and suddenly there is a car coming at full speed.
There should be cameras here and these drivers should be fined.

Jan. 16 2014 11:11 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ jgarbuz from Queens

I don't know if it's a sign of Armageddon or what but I have to say I agree. More aggressive traffic enforcement would be nice but these cameras are just another revenue grab/PR stunt, it won't reduce traffic deaths by very much.

NYC is a pedestrian city, there is no excuse for hitting a pedestrian in NYC at a speed high enough to severely injure except in very, very rare circumstances. A nice start would be video cameras in all Taxis (like in Russia). I'm not blaming taxi drivers, most are safe, but they play a major part in creating aggressive traffic driving patterns in the city.

I drive in the city at least once a week. It would be nice if the mayor had some vision...

Jan. 16 2014 11:11 AM
antonio from baySide

Hate to take sides, but ask any so-called New York driver, who always has the right of way?

Also I really feel this aggression and reckless nature is inbred in most New York residents.

When I went to New Hampshire, VT, etc I was shocked at their deference to pedestrians...I know those states can't match our scope and size, but I really feel its in our blood here to be reckless...

Jan. 16 2014 11:11 AM
John from NYC

I agree with Chuck on the enforcement issue. What is NYPD doing to enforce the laws on speeding drivers? For Staten Island, the answer is not much. We need at least 20 speeding cameras for each borough.

Jan. 16 2014 11:10 AM

Note in some countries the onus is all on the person with greater destructive power. For example in Jordan, a crash between car and person is ALWAYS the fault of the driver. Also Netherlands has similar rules regarding car/bike interfaces.

This seems pretty simple.

Jan. 16 2014 11:09 AM
bob from brooklyn

On the water, the law is that the most navigable vehicle must yield to the less navigable vehicle. The same should be true to on the streets. But that does not give NYC buses the right to bully through traffic.

Jan. 16 2014 11:08 AM
stefano from 11206

I am a bicyclist, pedestrian, driver. and I have to add that most of the issues I had as a pedestrian have been with cab drivers, both yellow and black cars, truck drivers.

SUVs also increase the likelihood of death as the pedestrian gets pushed under the axle rather than on the trunk.

Jan. 16 2014 11:08 AM
ellen diamond from Manhattan

This is the same mayor who supports puttint close to 5,000 sanitation trucks on a narrow road in a thickly residential Manhattan neighborhood, back and forth, idling and moving directly in front of the major sports and recreation facility where thousands of seniors and children walk to classes every single week. Sanitation trucks are responsible for a huge % of accidents involving pedestrians.

Jan. 16 2014 11:07 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Again, what's behind the traffic fatalities? What kind of negligence is operative here? How can we take "shared responsibility" if we don't know what behavior we need to correct?

Jan. 16 2014 11:07 AM
er-nay from UWS

Obviously we all morn the lost of life and need to fix this problem, but as a driver in New York City I am always frustrated by the amount of people who are either standing in the street or edging forward at lights. It's nearly impossible to go through any intersection without having to dodge people. People - please standing on the sidewalk until you have the light.

Jan. 16 2014 11:07 AM
stefano from 11206

what i feel is really dangerous for pedestrians are corners. trucks and cabs that make turns at speed below the limit but without yielding to pedestrians. that can not be addressed by speed cameras. I had near misses on Atlantic and Flatbush in Brooklyn and Greenwich and 8th ave in Manhattan.

Anyway in my native Italy the driver is always responsible by default when there is an accident with a pedestrian involved. The driver has to avoid / stop even if a pedestrian is crossing outside a crosswalk or with the red light. That is what is taught at driving schools and enforced.

Jan. 16 2014 11:05 AM
bob from brooklyn

Pedestrians are also at fault. As a cyclist, I am constantly dodging pedestrians jay walking while texting on their phone. Not to mention the many other cyclist who blow through red lights causing autos to slam on their breaks or make a quick turn. There needs to be a full reeducation of street users on how to share the roads! Maybe cyclists should also be licensed.

Jan. 16 2014 11:05 AM
lk from brooklyn

Can we also give tickets to pedestrians who text as they cross the street with no regard to the traffic light and oncoming cars? Pedestrians with head phones and cell phones walk as if they are the only person in the world.

Jan. 16 2014 11:04 AM
Laura from Nyack

I hope I've never contributed to any traffic injuries or deaths, but living in this area of the suburbs, I find it impossible to not use my car in NYC because public transportation from here is horrible. It takes far longer for me to travel by train, costs much more, and is much less convenient. I think the lack of good options for people from some areas of the suburbs to ditch their cars only contributes to the more cars in the city.

Jan. 16 2014 11:03 AM

This is probably one of the most important issues the Mayor could take up. Glad to see it is finally being addressed. I have felt increasingly threatened as a pedestrian here in New York over the last few years (and not from bikes--from cars).

Jan. 16 2014 11:02 AM
Robert from Manhattan

96 st and Broadway is a danger pit thanks to Ex Mayor Bloomberg and his incompetant city planners. Putting the Subway entrance in the middle of Broadway when people used to be able to enter on both east and west corners without crossing the street was just plain dumb. Also now they allow left turns on 96 St whereas before vehicles had to do a left on 95 st and 97 st, now compounds the nightmare. Add the narrowing of Broadway just before the intersection to the mess too. Thousands of people are put in harms way thanks to this very well thought out "renovation".

Jan. 16 2014 11:01 AM

Drivers are TOO DAMN fast!!

Even in midtown.

Jan. 16 2014 11:01 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

There are only two ways you can totally eliminate traffic deaths: (a) to eliminate all cars in the city, or (b) allow only robotic,self-driving cars like the famous Google driverless car. Everything else is just more taxation.

Jan. 16 2014 10:59 AM
pliny from soho

a lot of the bad taxi drivers
and some of those involved in traffic deaths
are from Mideast countries
[check out the names and little hats]

maybe there needs to be better oversight of licensing

Jan. 16 2014 10:58 AM
mgduke from nyc

The crucial step toward achieving truly safe streets in NYC is to totally shift the cultural paradigm and consequent police operating procedure for all crashes in which motor vehicles injure pedestrians or bicyclists. Specifically, we need to get rid of the current paradigm which assumes that the driver is not at fault unless proven otherwise and put in place a new paradigm in which it has to be proven that the driver did not conduct his vehicle in an unsafe way that caused the crash.

Jan. 16 2014 10:57 AM
Jason from Manhattan

It's on WNYC's own site:

Jan. 16 2014 10:56 AM

Brian, Mastro is also representing the anti-NYU folks. where have you been?

Jan. 16 2014 10:55 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Exactly what's going on here? Please explain. NYers need an explanatory townhall on this...

Jan. 16 2014 10:42 AM
Kimmarie from Hell's Litchen

I don't think it's productive to label commercial bicycle delivery people maniacs. There is not a group in NYC that can escape that label. I have seen pedestrians act in maniacal ways, livery cab drivers, access-a-ride drivers, electric bike riders, police car drivers, dog walkers and on it goes. The fast paced culture of a very crowded, expensive, competitive city is one of the causes of people acting irrationally and dangerously in traffic. We all need to take responsibility and become more mindful when navigating the streets of New York City. And yes, enforcement will help, I've seen police ignore dangerous infractions on many occasions.

Jan. 16 2014 10:38 AM
Chuck from lower Manhattan

Props to BdeB for taking this on. NYPD should strengthen enforcement on drivers of both motor vehicles and the commercial bicycle delivery maniacs. A bike hitting someone doesn't often lead to a fatality, but it can cripple. The laws are on the books. Enforcement!

Jan. 16 2014 09:51 AM

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