In New York City, Pedestrians Rule! …or do They?

AT least they should based on the numbers! 

These numbers are consistent with the Census Bureau’s 2009 American Family Survey which shows 80% of adult going to work by public transpiration or walking.

Then you may ask, why is it that pedestrians get only  30% of the public space on any given street? And how many police resources are deployed to protect pedestrians?

Pedestrians continue to die in alarming numbers at the hands of motorists, a minority. More than 13,000 pedestrians and bicyclists are injured or die every year in New York city , according to he State DOT. The August NYPD crash report shows 1,249 injured or killed by crashes, with about 20% of all crashes involving careless driving. This is the first time NYPD publishes this information as required since May 2011 by the Local Law 12, we fought so hard to get passed.

Unfortunately this information is not readily usable . If you really want to know what is happening in your neighborhood you should head to the new version of CrashStats which shows injuries and fatalities , block by block, intersection by intersection with many layers of details. Apparently Transportation Alternatives, who created the tool,  offered it to NYPD who has yet to take up the offer. Too bad!

It is also regrettable that the same minority of motorists is well protected by the police and the courts. In spite of two laws passed last year in Albany : Elle’s Law and Hailey and Diego Law both in VLT 1146, there have been only a total of 32 citations issued as of June this year, while around 7,000 pedestrians and bicyclists were injured or died on our streets.  Using ratios derived from the NYPD August statistics, the number of citations should have been 1,400 or more. These statistics show that a year after these new penalties meant to protect New Yorkers went in effect, they are barely being applied. “The most lethal weapon on the streets of New York City is not a gun. The deadliest weapon brandished each day, one that allows its operator to kill with impunity, is a set of car keys. Reckless drivers not under the influence of alcohol who kill pedestrians face no jail time — though they should.” says John Walters, on the Daily, and we agree. The stories of discrimination at the hand of the NYPD are numerous and infuriating.

The fact that we cannot rely upon our police to protect pedestrians or bicyclists against the motorists, makes it ever more important to obtain changes to the street design so that crashes can be avoided.

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