The problem is a lot bigger than a dangerous intersection in Brooklyn, folks. From Newsday, April 12:
DOT under fire about its pedestrian safety plans
The Brooklyn intersection where 3-year-old James Jacaricce was struck and killed by a car last February was just a few blocks away from where two fifth-graders died the same way in 2004.
That same year the Department of Transportation finished a study on how to slow down traffic at the site of the double fatality, but the work wasn’t completed before Jacaricce’s death.
“If the DOT is really concerned about pedestrian safety, why aren’t the improvements being made?” asked James St. John, the boy’s grandfather. “Families are being destroyed left and right, and all the DOT can say is that we have statistics for this and statistics for that.”
The DOT came under fire yesterday from victims’ families at a City Council hearing on pedestrian fatalities. The department was condemned for not having any citywide plan or timetable for making the kind of safety improvements that might have saved James’ life.
Deputy Commissioner David Woloch told the hearing that pedestrian safety was his department’s “most critical mission” and noted deaths have been on the decline.
“Over the past 15 years, pedestrian fatalities in New York have declined at a rate more than three times faster than the national average,” he said. “The number of pedestrians killed in the city dropped by 56 percent, from 366 in 1990 to 161 in 2006. Over the last six years, pedestrian fatalities have been at their lowest levels ever, since the City started keeping track in 1910.”
While pedestrian advocates agree that deaths are down, they say that the actual number of collisions and injuries are not. They point to state figures showing the number of car accidents involving pedestrians have not declined much in the past three years.
“There is a sense that just because the death rates are on the decline that the DOT is doing an adequate job, but that is not how it should be approached,” said City Councilman John Liu (D-Queens). “You don’t measure success by claiming that fewer people are dying.
“You measure it by how actions are taken, by crafting a plan and then following through on that plan. If there was a plan in place, maybe fewer people would be dying on the streets.”
See more reasons WHY WE FIGHT.