Posted on November 17, 2021 at 1:20 pm by West Sider
By Pleasure Bergmann
Throughout its November assembly, Group Board 7’s Transportation Committee famous a “important spike” in site visitors fatalities in CB7 with 9 to date this yr in comparison with two in 2020 and 4 in 2019.
“If we had 9 folks killed by weapons, the neighborhood could be up in arms,” mentioned CB7 member Richard Robbins, who compiled and introduced the fatalities information. “There have been 389 accidents reported by the NYPD in our district along with the 9 fatalities.”
The Higher West Facet isn’t alone on this rise in site visitors violence. Because the Times noted in a current evaluation, site visitors deaths citywide have surged to their highest degree in practically a decade. Whereas the addition of greater than 120,000 newly registered automobiles within the metropolis could have performed a job on this uptick, avenue security consultants say poor driver conduct — maybe exacerbated by the pandemic — is the first trigger.
“Due to Covid, we’re experiencing dysfunction in all components of society and one of many methods it performs out is thru reckless driving and unhealthy driving selections,” Julia Kite-Laidlaw from NYC’s Division of Transportation advised the CB7 assembly attendees. “We all know that the entire [street redesign] engineering work that we’ve carried out with Imaginative and prescient Zero didn’t vanish between 2020 and 2021. What we do know has modified is driver conduct.“
Particularly, Kite-Laidlaw mentioned, “After we drill all the way down to what the investigations into these deadly crashes are displaying, we’re seeing a whole lot of rushing, failure to yield. We’re seeing a surprising variety of hit and runs, and hit and runs typically conceal a whole lot of different wrongdoing like unlicensed driving or DWI.”
When requested how the neighborhood might assist reverse the harmful development, Kite-Laidlaw pointed to the significance of passing the pending State legislation asking for velocity cameras to run 24/7. At the moment, “we will solely run these cameras 6am to 10pm on weekdays,” she mentioned, noting that final yr, “about one third of non-highway fatalities occurred in class velocity zones the place there are cameras however at occasions when the cameras weren’t allowed to function.”
Moreover, DOT needs to see NYPD officers doing extra. “We’re additionally working with our counterparts at NYPD to convey up among the in-person enforcement we can not ask cameras to do,” mentioned Kite-Laidlaw. “As a result of, fairly frankly, if folks imagine enforcement goes to be constant and swift, that can deter their conduct.”
CB7 member Susan Schwartz referred to as the present streetscape “terrifying” for pedestrians. “We want enforcement for every little thing. Every thing.”
“NYPD by no means speaks about site visitors enforcement, both on the citywide degree or native degree,” added Robbins. “It’s all the time an afterthought for them, at finest…Enforcement is dramatically down in our district this yr.” Representatives from the twentieth and twenty fourth Precincts weren’t current on the assembly to remark.
Robbins then requested for a decision calling on the NYPD to “step up its enforcement.” The Committee determined to desk that concept for now, in favor of crafting a decision supporting the DOT’s efforts to function velocity and crimson mild enforcement cameras 24/7. The Committee additionally unanimously referred to as for a complete removing of the state restrict on the variety of such cameras, enabling the town to vastly broaden the enforcement program.
In accordance with the newest NYPD data, Robbins is appropriate concerning the drop in enforcement domestically.
The NYPD’s Higher West Facet precincts continue to problem far fewer tickets to drivers [including e-bikers] than in 2019, previous to the pandemic.
Evaluating 2019 to 2021 totals for the August via October interval, the twentieth Precinct issued 37% fewer shifting violation summonses and the twenty fourth Precinct wrote 34% fewer tickets.
WSR pulled the NYPD information on tickets issued for some key offenses:
WSR requested the twentieth Precinct’s Captain Neil Zuber and the twenty fourth Precinct’s Deputy Inspector Naoki Yaguchi to touch upon the site visitors enforcement numbers. Neither has responded; WSR will replace this story in the event that they do.
NYPD information present the ticketing lower can be a citywide phenomenon, with total shifting violations summonses down 41%, in keeping with WSR’s evaluation.
WSR requested the NYPD to touch upon the difficulty. A spokesperson referred us to a November 4th press release promising, “main schooling and enforcement efforts aimed to shift driver conduct…” and a renewed name for “state laws to permit New York Metropolis’s automated velocity cameras to function 24/7.”