We have a followup on the deadly accident on Delancey Street early Monday morning. As previously reported, a pedestrian was struck by a car near the intersection of Delancey and Essex, around 4am. Because the body was not removed for several hours, the gruesome scene greeted people on their way to work and caused traffic problems near the Williamsburg Bridge. Later in the day, several elected officials issued a statement calling on the city to make safety improvements at the intersection, one of the city’s most dangerous.
Susan Stetzer, CB3’s district manager, attended a briefing this week in which the accident was discussed. In that meeting, City officials said the driver was not charged. The victim was a 40-year old man who, according to police, was walking in the street outside the borders of the crosswalk. Officers interviewed witnesses and inspected traffic signals at the intersection.
The statement from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, State Senator Daniel Squadron and City Councilmember Margaret Chin said, in part:
According to the NYS Department of Transportation, there have been more than 80 crashes at this exact location over a 10-year period. A 2006 report by the Manhattan Borough President’s Office found this intersection to be the most congested in the borough. That’s why we have called on the New York City Department of Transportation to implement red light cameras and other pedestrian safety measures at ‘danger spot’ intersections throughout the city, including at Essex and Delancey.
It should be noted that good information about traffic accidents is hard to come by because the NYPD has steadfastly refused to make even basic information from accident reports public. Yesterday, Streetsblog reported:
…while information about such incidents is vital to making conditions safer and preventing future fatalities, NYPD continues to withhold crash reports from the public… In January, Streetsblog filed 10 FOIL requests in fatality cases where press reports either made no mention of charges against the driver or indicated that the driver was immediately cleared of culpability. To date, NYPD has issued denials for seven of those requests. We have appealed those denials, and will continue to file requests for reports on subsequent crashes.
From Mitch Weinstein:
As Ed Litvak can attest, last Friday night I was speaking with him about what The Lo-Down might do to be able to make this intersection safer. This was before this fatal accident, as well as the other fatal accident that occurred on Houston St.; both in the same week.
Since living below Delancey for the past 7 years, I have crossed this intersection many times. Often, I will walk the extra block to Ludlow or Norfolk to cross, because the Delancey/Essex intersection is like the wild west.
Basically, the reason the NYPD doesn’t comply with requests for statistics is that they simply aren’t doing their job in protecting the public. Pedestrians are basically second class citizens to drivers – and the officers directing traffic blatantly ignore pedestrians who are trying to cross that street.
For starters, NYPD needs to set-up a ticketing operation, and ticket drivers who don’t yield to pedestrians (by the way, it IS the law)…cameras are laughable, and only ticket cars, not drivers.
The east side of Essex should be off limits to crossing Delancey. Move pedestrians to the west side of Essex, which is a safer corner to cross, as you don’t have the north and south bound drivers on Essex, who are heading to the bridge, to contend with. They do this all over midtown, with pedestrian barricades.
The best solution, of course, would be a pedestrian overpass. Doesn’t have to be at Essex – move it to Norfolk and make the Delancey/Essex intersection off-limits to pedestrians. Then, and only then, will we see a real reduction in pedestrian/vehicular accidents at that intersection.
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