Taking a stroll in Midtown is taking your life in your hands.
The area is the most dangerous for pedestrians in the entire city -- with an average of one person a day struck by a car, according to a report released yesterday.
An astounding 8,604 people on foot were smacked by cars from 1995 to 2009 in Community District 5, the 42-block stretch south of Central Park that's bordered by Lexington and Eighth avenues, says Transportation Alternatives' first "Walking in Traffic Violence" report.
That's nearly twice the rate of the city's second most dangerous pedestrian trap, Queens' Community District 12, which covers Jamaica, said the pro-mass-transit group.
In that same period, 4,741 pedestrians were hit there.
The Upper East Side's Community District 8 had 4,694 accidents, putting the tony 'hood in third place as the city's most dangerous spot.
In dubious fourth place was its southern neighbor, Community District 6, which encompasses Sutton Place to Stuyvesant Town.
That section of the city had 4,543 pedestrian-vehicle accidents.
Midtown's dismal record is likely the result of its perpetually packed roads, said Michael Murphy, a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives.
"The problem is probably just the sheer number of cars there," said Murphy.
"When drivers are in that situation, there's road rage and jockeying around each other. You rush to make the turn ahead of you, and you might not see the pedestrian ahead."
Pavement-hardened pedestrians weren't surprised by the results.
"It's a disaster out here," said Kim Walker, a commuter who navigates the mean Midtown streets every day.
"Most drivers are extremely aggressive. There's so much congestion here, drivers are fighting for every inch."
Don Wood, who shines shoes on Sixth Avenue and 47th Street, sees countless near-misses every day.
"There's just not enough room," he said.
"People aren't safe here."
As a result, Transportation Alternatives is calling on the NYPD to ramp up charges against careless motorists who plow into pedestrians and break the 30-mph speed limit.
"For too long, dangerous and lethal drivers have gotten off with minimal or, astonishingly, no charges at all," said Paul Steely White, the group's president.
New Yorkers are twice as likely to be killed in a car crash as those living in Berlin, Tokyo and Paris.
To compile the numbers for the most dangerous areas, Transportation Alternatives -- which also advocates cycling and walking -- used stats from the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
Submitted by joseph on December 21, 2011 - 20:14. categories [