A recent pedestrian death in Central Park has led to a new campaign by City Councilman Mark Levine to reduce speed limits and cut down on speeding in New York City parks. The current speed limit is 25 mph, but many groups believe that a lower park speed limit of 20 mph would be more appropriate. The pedestrian's death has also led to a variety of other responses, including one from a group known as Right of Way, a group of cyclists who advocate for pedestrian safety. That group recently posted a set of fake speed limit signs throughout the park, advocating for a similar reduction in speed.
A recent traffic accident involving a pedestrian at the corner of Astoria Boulevard and 80th Street highlights the importance of new traffic law designed to protect pedestrians and bicyclists. The new law is a part of the mayor's Vision Zeroprogram-a program that is attempting to bring traffic fatalities in New York City down to zero.
While New York streets pose a danger to pedestrians, new research reveals that the danger many not be the same for everyone. A study, conducted by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, analyzed crash data from downstate New York along with New Jersey and Connecticut. It was discovered that older pedestrians are at a much greater risk than younger bystanders for fatal injuries stemming from pedestrian traffic accidents. The study came to this conclusion after analyzing crash data from the past 10 years and looking for geographic and demographic based trends.
The desire to be ecologically conscious has led to an increase in the number of cyclists on the roads. Streets have become more congested with cars, and cities are becoming friendlier to bicycles. However, this can be a serious danger to pedestrians, who are more used to watching for loud, large cars than they are for the slender, quiet bicycles.
As of this writing, new legislation that has passed through the state Senate is currently waiting on the dockets for the Assembly to decide. The legislation would change the way that hit-and-run accidents are treated, and provide a different level of standard for the driver, making it harder for drunk drivers to walk away from a hit-and-run without serious consequences.
Another fatality associated with Metro-North Railroad is added to the list of tragic accidents that have occurred on the railroad line in the last year. James Romansoff, a Metro-North Railroad worker, was struck and killed while working on the tracks on Monday, March 10, 2014.
This accident follows at the heels of a few other devastating railroad accidents: the May 17, 2013 accident in Bridgeport Connecticut where 50 people were injured and over $18 million in costs and damages were sustained; the May 28, 2013 accident where a train moving at 70 mph struck an employee who was performing railroad maintenance; the July 18, 2013 accident near Spuyten Duyvil Station where a train derailed causing significant property damage; and finally, the most recent in December 2013, when a Hudson line train derailed and left 4 people dead, injured 70, and caused about $8 million in costs and damages.
This last string of accidents, including the tragic December 2013 Hudson derailment, has led to the investigation and release of a study of Metro-North Rail safety culture and recommendations for the railroad line on how to improve on its safety procedures and policies.
Automobiles have been around for a century, and from the beginning they have always posed an injury risk. From malfunctions on the Model T up to random collisions on Fifth Avenue today, drivers, passengers, and pedestrians have been seriously hurt and killed in auto accidents for decades.
Over the years, researchers have used data on car accidents and industries to craft detailed, useful portraits of exactly how accidents usually happen and the likely injuries that result. Academics specializing in this area offer particularly vivid account of risks, often influencing engineers, policy makers, and transportation experts when designing new spaces or making safety modifications to existing areas. At times, this research is also referenced in car accident lawsuits and other legal cases.