Dangerous Streets: Web Site Tracks Pedestrian Accidents From Eastern Parkway to Montague Street, Look Out!
By Charles Sweeney
Are the streets of Brooklyn safe for pedestrians? Not entirely, says Transportation Alternatives (T.A.), an organization that publishes a magazine focusing on alternative means of transportation for New Yorkers.
Most folks tend to think the streets are less dangerous as a result of the waning crime rate in the borough, but a closer look at statistics put out by T.A. points out a different menace: traffic. According to studies conducted by the magazine, some of the busier streets in Downtown Brooklyn pose some of the highest risk for pedestrians and cyclists.
In the fall 2004 issue of its magazine, T.A. listed Utica Avenue and Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights as the most dangerous intersection, with 92 injuries to pedestrians between 1995 and 2004, followed by Atlantic Avenue and Nostrand Avenue with three fatalities and 51 injuries.
Toward this end, Transportation Alternatives has established a new Web site, www.crashstat.org, "the first publicly accessible pedestrian death and injury map." The Web site provides maps of trouble spots across the city, along with the locations and frequencies of reported accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists. A quick look at the Brooklyn Heights area of the map reveals that 27 injuries occurred along Henry Street between Middagh Street and Atlantic Avenue.
Montague Street from Cadman
Plaza West to Pierrepont Street saw 24 accidents involving either pedestrians or
cyclists, with six occurring at the intersection of Montague and Hicks Streets
and five at Montague and Henry Streets.
Making Cycling Safer
Bicycling as an alternative to driving has become the flashpoint issue in the news as of late, with the demonstrations and arrests during Critical Mass rides in Manhattan receiving much media coverage, along with the goals of the campaign to make cycling safer and easier for New Yorkers seeking an alternative to driving.
The effort to make traffic laws more amenable to cyclists and pedestrians has met with resistance by the Department of Transportation (DOT), according to Transportation Alternatives editors.
Many efforts by the DOT to make
safer the intersection of Adams Street and Tillary Street, the entry point for
cyclists who cross the bridge, have fallen short.
Currently, the Web site states that 10 accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians occurred at the intersection. Anyone trying to cross the street knows that the several lanes of speeding traffic leave little room for error or hesitation.
Some of these longer intersections are especially difficult for seniors for, whom crossing a street can be a risky proposition. T.A. advocates longer crossing times for pedestrians as a means of accommodating people with special needs.
Along with other initiatives,
such as a proposal for a car-free Prospect Park, T. A. efforts at advocacy for
this, one of America’s true pedestrian cities, provides useful information for
addressing a problem hiding in plain sight.
Submitted by forrest on February 7, 2008 - 14:52. categories [ ]