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PEDESTRIANS - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


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PEDESTRIANS

Woman Run Over by Truck on Houston Spurs More Calls for Street Safety


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locationsA D.O.T. handout from earlier this year, outlining areas
in need of safety measures around Houston Street.

A flatbed truck struck and killed a 58-year-old woman crossing West Houston Street on a scooter this morning.

The police said that the victim was run over by the rear wheels of the trailer as it turned onto Sixth Avenue around 8:50 a.m. She was dragged to Minetta Lane before witnesses alerted the truck driver to the horrific accident. “There were a dozen people running up the street screaming and telling him to stop,” one witness told The Daily News.

The latest accident only reinforced the perception that Houston Street is one of the most deadliest thoroughfares in the city.

“Of course today’s tragedy is unique and we don’t know if any of these critical improvements would have prevented it. But we must do everything in our power to prevent the next one,” State Senator Daniel Squadron wrote in a statement, pointing to a bill that would strengthen penalties against reckless drivers, as well as recent safety improvements to Delancey Street.


Overhaul Update: The Latest on the Transformation of Astor and Cooper Square


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IMG_0003Sarah Darville Water main construction at Cooper Square.

The steel beams of 51 Astor Place now loom over the entrance to the 6 train. High school students will soon be attending class at Cooper Square. And city contractors are still tearing up asphalt to repair a vital water main.

Here’s a roundup of the latest news on four projects that will transform the gateway to the neighborhood.

New 51 Astor Place BuildingCourtesy of Sciame Construction Corp A rendering of 51 Astor.

51 Astor Place

In May, Commercial Observer reported that Hult International Business School was negotiating to take the second floor at the black-glass tower being built at the corner of St. Marks Place and Fourth Avenue. But William Lyman, Vice President of Global Development at the school says it is no longer pursuing the space. That deal would have satisfied a requirement that the building host at least one educational institution. Who will occupy the rest of the space remains a mystery. Microsoft and IBM have previously been rumored to be interested in moving in. Read more…


15 Congested and Dangerous Intersections Targeted for Improvement


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houstonandboweryNatalie Rinn The intersection of Bowery and Houston.

Ten East Village intersections have been targeted for improvement by the Department of Transportation, including one – the intersection of Houston and Bowery – that has seen a bevy of biking accidents.

Last night at a joint meeting of Community Boards 2 and 3, the department unveiled the findings of a two-year survey covering a southern portion of the East Village as well as portions of Greenwich Village, NoLIta, and the Lower East Side. The study, which can be seen below, identified 15 intersections (10 of them in the East Village) that the city will target for future makeovers, including five intersections (one in the East Village) that were said to be “high accident locations.” From 2008 to 2010, the intersection of Avenue A and First Street saw 25 accidents, 18 of which resulted in injuries and one of which resulted in the death of a pedestrian.

Though the intersection of Houston Street and Bowery wasn’t among those identified by the D.O.T. as the most dangerous, it was that crossing – the city’s most accident-prone intersection for bicyclists from 1995 to 2009 – that initiated the study to begin with, and it was the one most East Village residents spoke up about. The study found noticeable congestion at the intersection, where 10 to 15 percent of daytime vehicles were trucks, and noted that it was in need of changes to better accommodate turns. Read more…


CB3 Near the Top of Pedestrian Accident List


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Last week we learned that East Houston Street and Bowery was the most dangerous intersection in the city for cyclists. New information culled from the same set of State Department of Transportation data reveals that Community Board 3 (which includes the East Village, Lower East Side, and part of Chinatown) was the fifth-most dangerous part of the city for pedestrians from 1995 to 2009. The statistics, compiled by the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, show that 4,138 accidents involving cars and pedestrians occurred during the 14-year span within Community Board 3. Community Board 5 — which covers Union Square, Times Square and much of Midtown — was by far the most dangerous district for pedestrians, with 8,604 accidents.


More Deadly Than Delancey? Bowery and Houston Most Accident-Prone for Cyclists


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Phillip Kalantzis-Cope

Newly released data of crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists reveals that Bowery and East Houston Street was the city’s most accident-prone intersection for bicyclists from 1995 to 2009.

During that time span, there were 41 accidents at the intersection, according to the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, which has compiled new data from the New York State Department of Transportation in an interactive map called Crashstat.

Transportation Alternatives said the new statistics pointed to the need for further reforms that would make the city more pedestrian-and-cyclist-friendly.

“As long as the default response to a motor vehicle crash is that it’s an accident, the behavior that’s killing and injuring people will continue,” wrote the group’s director, Paul Steely White, in a press release.
Read more…


New Countdown Clocks On Delancey


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New timers have been installed at intersections of Delancey Street, Bowery Boogie reports. The countdown clocks, stretching from Kenmare to Clinton Streets, come two weeks after a cyclist was run over by a truck at Chrystie Street, reinforcing Delancey Street’s dangerous reputation.


I ♥ Bicycles


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blue bike brown paper bagMario Ramirez

The bicycle is such a decorous, ingenious, quiet machine, it’s a shame it has become a politicized one as well. But when you see somebody on a bike with a placard attached to it which reads A QUIET PROTEST AGAINST OIL, you know Politicization has arrived. (On First Avenue, in this case.)

Beautiful and ingenious as the bicycle may be, the human body is even more beautiful and ingenious, at least until the age of 60, and especially below the age of 30. And let’s not forget one important thing. As a pedestrian, I also fall into the category of partaking in A QUIET PROTEST AGAINST OIL, unless I’m in a cab. I just don’t have a sign, or a T-shirt, with which to make this fact plain. But I’m going to get one. It’s going to be a quiet protest against other, equally quiet protests.
Read more…


On 14th St., A Perilous Intersection


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For those locals who took a quick glance at accident statistics for New York City compiled by Transportation Alternatives, it probably came as little surprise that the East Village is home to two of the city’s most perilous intersections.

The intersection of Third Avenue and East 14th Street tied for the fifth most dangerous intersection in Manhattan with 66 crashes involving pedestrians from 1995 to 2005.

Bowery and West Houston Street tied for the most dangerous intersection in the entire city with 29 crashes involving cyclists.

Now that Transportation Alternatives has unveiled a plan that it believes will help make streets safer, The Local decided to pay a visit to 14th Street between Second and Third Avenues to talk to residents and business owners about the area’s dubious place as one of the city’s most treacherous stretches of asphalt.

NYU Journalism’s Claire Glass reports.


A Plan for Pedestrian Safety


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squintyMichelle Rick

If you had to identify one defining feature of life in Manhattan, it just might be pedestrianism. There are places where calling someone or something “pedestrian” is an insult; this isn’t one of them. Here, “pedestrian” is an identity to share and be proud of. It does occasionally need defending.

Only a minority of us have cars, but every New Yorker walks and lives near things worth walking to (no matter how often we also take taxis or Zipcars or anything else). Our street grid, formed by the 1811 Commissioners’ Plan, predates the automotive invasion of American space by nearly a century. We’re the pre-automotive Americans, by design and by history as well as by inclination. And if factors like climate change, oil shortages, energy costs, Middle Eastern warfare, and rising awareness of what cars do to human bodies all suggest that the automotive era won’t last forever, we’re ready for post-automotive life, too.

On the East Side, the human/vehicular competition is particularly intense, and with the tire tracks on people’s backs to prove it, a coalition of community groups led by the nonprofit group Transportation Alternatives (along with the East Village Community Coalition, East Harlem Preservation, Civitas, Upper Green Side, and others) has developed an East Side Action Plan to define goals for the improvement of street safety involving multiple city agencies. The East Side, particularly the East Village, is a logical place for this: the area from Chinatown up to East Harlem accounts for only 8 percent of the city’s population but 22 percent of its pedestrian commuters, 13 percent of its bike commuters – and 11 percent of its “fatal and injurious” crashes.
Read more…