Archive for the tag 'pedestrian safety'

Source: jeweledlion/Flickr

Councilman Chaim Deutsch has advised us that there are nearly 100 vacancies for crossing guard positions across New York City, making a potentially dangerous situation for children – and creating an opportunity for those looking for part-time employment.

Crossing guards are employed by the New York Police Department, and keep the streets safe for crossing children at both public and private schools. According to Deutsch, the NYPD had 92 vacancies as of mid-January. He’s encouraging residents to visit their local precinct and sign up.

“Establishing public safety in my community has always been my top priority,” said Council Member Chaim Deutsch. “By applying for a position as an NYPD Crossing Guard, you will be helping to protect neighborhood children while getting paid and obtaining excellent benefits, a win-win situation.”

Here are the details on the job:

There are no formal requirements of education or experience. School Crossing Guards work five-hour days for a maximum of 25 hours per week. Schedules may vary by school, but are generally from 7:00 am to 9:30 am, and 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm. The starting rate of pay is $9.88 per hour. Every effort is made to assign guards to a school within the precinct where they reside. School Crossing Guards are eligible to enroll in a city-sponsored health insurance program if they work 20 hours per week on a steady basis. All candidates must be able to understand and be understood in English, in addition to passing a qualifying medical examination and a character investigation.

In addition to visiting your precinct, you can find the application here.

Source: formulanone/Flickr

Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday unveiled the 63-points of his Vision Zero proposal aimed at eliminating pedestrian deaths, and some of the steps make Michael Bloomberg look like a Detroit industry lobbyist.

De Blasio’s plan pushes a citywide reduction of the speed limit to 25 miles per hour from the current 30, as well as the installation of more speed and red light cameras, more cops focused on moving violations, and – everyone’s favorites – more speed bumps, bike lanes and possibly pedestrian plazas across the five boroughs.

It’s not all bad news for me-first drivers; the plan also calls for widening parking lanes to keep delivery vehicles out of travel lanes, and investigating an automated system that would penalize taxicabs by pausing their meters if the driver exceeds the speed limit. They’re also looking at improving street lighting at more than 1,000 intersections.

Here’s some background from the New York Times:

Some of the mayor’s proposals — like lowering the citywide speed limit to 25 miles per hour from 30 and expanding the installation of red-light and speed-tracking cameras that issue tickets — require approval in the state capital, where the administration is asking lawmakers to approve a tax increase on the city’s top earners to finance prekindergarten programs.

Though the Bloomberg administration pressed the Legislature for years, with mixed success, to approve the expansion of automated enforcement cameras, Mr. de Blasio predicted “a receptive audience in Albany” this time around.

Pursuing jaywalkers will not remain a part of the plan, de Blasio noted, although the city has issued 215 summonses for jaywalking in a little over a month, compared to 27 over the same period last year.

More cops are also proposed, particularly to crack down on bad turning. amNY reports:

Citing police statistics that speeding and “inappropriate turning” were to blame in 70% of pedestrian fatalities, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the department would increase the number of officers devoted to deterring bad driving and investigating crashes.

There are about 250 pedestrians deaths and 4,000 serious injuries a year, the report says.

Some more stats from the Wall Street Journal:

Since Mr. de Blasio took office Jan. 1, more than 20 people have been killed in traffic crashes, he said. In 2013, according to a preliminary tally, there were 286 traffic deaths, a 3% increase from 2012 and a 15% increase from 2011.

On a related note, the city doled out nearly 4,000 speeding tickets since the installation of speed cameras last month, the mayor said.

IMG_0095

A woman attempts to pass beneath the B/Q line at Avenue Y, a daunting task.

New York City residents and business owners are required to clear their sidewalks after snow storms or face heavy fines from city authorities. But city agencies have failed to clear many public sidewalks and those abutting government property, suggesting a double standard that puts pedestrians at risk.

With 48 inches of snow falling over the course of 22 days since January 1, deadbeat landlords who’ve failed to shovel paths have become a reviled caricature in New York City. Currently, they could face fines of $150, and a local City Council member has introduced new legislation that would direct city workers to clear private sidewalks and forward the bill to the property owner.

But while city workers may one day be deployed to clear private sidewalks, Sheepshead Bites has found a number of government-owned sidewalks that those same city workers have failed to clear.

Among the worst spots this publication surveyed yesterday are the underpasses of the B/Q Brighton line, all located between East 15th Street and East 16th Street. From Sheepshead Bay Road to Kings Highway, not one of the half dozen underpasses without a subway station had clear paths shoveled on both sides of the street, and even some of those with a subway station were left uncleared. In most locations, the northern side of the street was partially shoveled, while the southern side remained untouched.

Keep reading to learn whose responsibility it is, and view the pictures of their neglect.

Eric Adams

Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams issued a statement yesterday afternoon urging fellow Brooklynites to “take extra precautions” for their safety. The statement came hours after a second death in Brooklyn to be caused by a snow removal vehicle in just 10 days.

“Today, Brooklyn mourns the passing of Min Lin, who was fatally struck by a snowplow vehicle in Bay Ridge, as well as prays for the health of her newborn child. Death is always a tragic occurrence, and it is heightened here because, just ten days ago, our borough lost Stanislav Chernyshov when a backhoe pushing snow fatally struck him in Brighton Beach,” said Adams. “These incidents underscore the need for motorists, as well as cyclists and pedestrians, to take extra precautions in hazardous weather conditions, such as we have experienced this winter. Additionally, we must further impress the importance of safe driving and operation of snow removal vehicles, which must include proper training for operators.”

Both incidents occurred in Southern Brooklyn, and the vehicles were both privately operated plows clearing snow from private property. In yesterday’s incident, 36-year-old Min Lin, who was pregnant, was hit by a plow clearing the parking lot of Fei Long Market at 6301 8th Avenue. The unborn child survived the accident but is in critical condition at Maimonides Hospital.

On February 3, Stanislav Chernyshov was killed by a CAT vehicle removing snow from the Oceana condominium complex in Brighton Beach.

In another incident on February 5, a man suffered minor injuries after being knocked down on Coney Island Avenue by a wall of snow as a speeding Department of Sanitation snow plow passed - an incident caught on video that went viral. The driver has been disciplined by the agency, according to reports.

File photo

A man is in serious condition after being struck by a snow plow in Brighton Beach.

The incident happened around noon. The man, believed to be in his 60s according to the Daily News, was walking on Oceana Drive West near Brighton Beach Avenue outside of the Oceana Condominium complex when the plow hit him.

Scanner reports indicated the man was pinned under the plow. He has been taken to Coney Island Hospital in serious condition. The NYPD’s Highway units are on the scene investigating the circumstances.

We are awaiting more information from authorities.

UPDATE (1:58 p.m.): Facebook reader Sabina S. tells us that the man has died. We are still awaiting confirmation from official sources

UPDATE (2:04 p.m.): Councilman Chaim Deutsch has followed up, informing Sheepshead Bites that the man did pass away. The councilman is expected to issue a statement shortly, but confirmed that it was a privately operated caterpillar contracted by the Oceana complex for snow removal operations that struck the man.

Our thoughts here at Sheepshead Bites are with the victim’s family

Correction: A previous version of this post indicated that it was confirmed to be a Department of Sanitation vehicle that struck the man. That information, which was live on this site for less than 5 minutes, has been amended.

Photo from the scene, submitted by Sabina S.

Photo from the scene, submitted by Sabina S.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

Lamborghini Aventador Crash in Brooklin Splits Car in Half

Source: AutoEvolution.com

mapA frustrated Mill Basin resident has started a petition to add stop signs on a residential block after the latest in a series of accidents left at least one man injured and a $400,000 Lamborghini Aventador split in two on Saturday.

The accident occurred at East 66th Street and Gaylord Drive North, when a speeding white Lamborghini and a four-door sedan collided as the sedan turned to enter a driveway. The Lamborghini veered off, hitting a utility pole, and ripping into two parts, one of which was sent barreling 30 feet away into a neighbor’s fence.

The neighbor caught the collision on his security video, which you can see below:

The condition of the Lamborghini driver and any potential passengers remains unknown at this time. The driver of the sedan was hospitalized but is expected to recover, according to a post on Instagram by his sister:

I’m so thankful that my brother is alive and well after this tragic accident he had tonight. He was hit by a Lamborghini doing 100mph. The Lamborghini hit him then spun out into a tree and split in half and my brother was hospitalized he’s lucky to be alive right now after something like this. I thank God he’s ok

She also posted more photos of the wreckage, which you can see at the end of this post.

The neighbor who recorded the video, Michael Yuryev, said this kind of accident is becoming typical in the community.

“It seems to be a major problem that cars race down E66th st all the time because last year, another accident happened on the same corner and hit a Electric pole,” Yuryev wrote to Sheepshead Bites. “The most disturbing fact is that MANY of these individuals who race down e66th are Mill Basin Residents and I have seen the same cars racing/speeding and parked in people’s driveways and garages.”

To make the community safer, Yuryev suggests adding stop signs or speed bumps throughout the neighborhood, which would help reclaim the streets from would-be drag racers. Yuryev has sent a letter to Assemblyman Alan Maisel and Councilman Lew Fidler requesting the change, and has also kicked off an online petition.

“Remember, it is only a matter of time before someone gets injured or killed by another reckless driver speeding down our neighborhood where our loved ones and friends walk up and down everyday,” Yuryev writes in the petition.

See more photos from this dramatic accident.

Source: Jaszek Photography via Flickr

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), seniors account for 38 percent of pedestrian fatalities, yet represent only 12 percent of the population. The reasons for this discrepancy, they say, are the lack of “complete streets.”

What are complete streets, you ask? Well, according to the National Complete Streets Coalition, “complete streets are designed and operated so they work for all users—pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.”

Essentially, they are the sort of streets that are neatly organized with sensible traffic flow, clear traffic signs and wide walking spaces that compliment bike lanes so pedestrians and bikers aren’t getting in each other’s way.

An example of a “complete street.” Source: smartgrowthamerica.org

New Yorkers can sense when they aren’t on a “complete street.” Incomplete streets are the sort of narrow sidewalks that barely accommodate two-way foot traffic, have winding twists and no clear intersections that promote safe crossing. According to the DOT, the lack of complete streets present a real issue for seniors:

A recent report by AARP showed that 40% of adults over 50 reported inadequate sidewalks in their neighborhoods, and 50% reported they cannot cross streets safety. The report also revealed that many people would walk, bicycle or ride the bus if these conditions were improved.  Challenges that frequently affect people’s mobility as they age include declining vision, reduced physical fitness and flexibility, decreased ability to focus attention and increased reaction time.

For the DOT, the need to proliferate the city with “complete streets” will become a pressing issue within the next decade as 2025 the population of older adults will double, likely leading to an increase of pedestrian accidents. Because of this, they are advocating community involvement and awareness in “complete street” policies and planning. Here is some relevant information:

Attend a DOT forum or workshop about transportation or neighborhood planning.  Visit our event calendar or view upcoming events on Facebook. Participate in your community board’s transportation committee. (Find your community board).

Check out resources like the National Complete Streets Coalition, the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at NYU.

Pera Cafe Loses Bid For Sidewalk Cafe: Community Board 15 denied an application for a sidewalk cafe at Pera Cafe, a new Turkish restaurant and lounge at 2255 Emmons Avenue, in a near-split vote after members raised questions about pedestrian safety and the restaurant’s own track record.

Continue Reading »

Former State Senator Carl Kruger. Image source: Reason.tv. Illustration composite by Erica Sherman

With seemingly little fanfare, a seven-sentence story by Agence France Presse, with the headline “Death toll among pedestrians wearing headphones triples,” popped up on Yahoo News a while back. It is all but forgotten about now, having first appeared mid-January, but the subject merits revisiting. The Yahoo link is borked, but you can read it on any number of websites by going here.

The story reported the results of a study, which revealed that “[T]he annual tally [of US pedestrians killed or badly injured while wearing headphones] rose from 16 in 2004 to 47 in 2011, bringing the total of cases to 116 over this period.” Researchers of the study, headed by Richard Lichenstein of the University of Maryland Hospital for Children, in Baltimore, further warned of an “inattentional blindness,” or “a distraction that lowers the resources the brain devotes to external stimuli.”

The results of the study — conclusive data parsed from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Google News, and the legal database, Westlaw — were published in the British journal, Injury Prevention.

At the time the story appeared, a cursory search of the word “headphones” into Google News generated upward of 330 results, all citing the same Lichenstein study. It surfaced in The Daily NewsFox News Radio…  the L Magazine picked it up from The Daily News, adding that the NYPD’s 34th Precinct “created its own texting-while-walking awareness campaign last year.” The results of the research were also published in The Washington ExaminerABC NewsMetro New YorkNBC Washington, and hundreds of other media sources all over the web.

The one conspicuously absent item missing from those 330+ stories was any mention of the 27th Senate District’s now former legislator, Carl Kruger.

Continue Reading »

Help make the roads of your neighborhood safer!

Transportation Alternatives, a transportation advocacy group, just released their “Neighborhood Traffic Monitoring Toolkit.”

The toolkit offers tips on choosing an intersection in a neighborhood to document, working with community boards, precinct community councils, and recruiting volunteers. There are also sample letters to send to community leaders, police precincts and elected officials.

“Everyone knows exactly where the most dangerous street corner is in their neighborhood. With this toolkit, community members can shine a spotlight on those lawless intersections,” said Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives Paul Steely White.

So… which intersection should we start with?

Next »