Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.
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The Borough Pedestrian Safety Action Plans are one of 63 Vision Zero initiatives designed to eliminate deaths and personal injuries from traffic accidents in New York City. This set of five plans have been developed by the New York Department of Transportation and the NYPD. Each safety action plan addresses specific borough related challenges to pedestrian safety. The action plans are based on the input of the borough inhabitants gathered during multiple community workshops and also from numerous data and comments collected on the interactive Zero Vision map.

Bronx Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

Bronx Pedestrian Safety MapThe Bronx pedestrian fatality rate is higher than the NYC average. Most traffic fatalities and personal injuries happen  in the high-density neighborhoods in the north- and south-westerly portions of the Bronx. Arterial streets such as The Grand Concourse, 3rd Avenue, and Fordham Road are the most dangerous.  A lot of pedestrians are killed when crossing the street mid- block because of the lack of an adequate number of crossroads. The Bronx has a lot of overnight pedestrian fatalities. Seniors represent 36% of the Bronx pedestrian fatalities and young adults 18%. Dangerous driving such as speeding, failing to yield, turning on red distracted driving and DUI are the cause of 85% of the pedestrian fatalities in the Bronx and hit and run occurs in 30 % of cases.

Safety engineering improvements will be implemented  at the Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas shown on the map on the left. The  pedestrian crossing time will be significantly expanded on all Bronx corridors and exclusive pedestrian crossing time will be added to all possible intersections. Signal timing will be modifed to reduce off-peak speeding and 25 MPH speed limit signage will be installed on corridors. A dedicated DOT staff member will reach out to communities with a high number of pedestrian fatalities and severe injuries in the Bronx. Better lighting will be installed under elevated trains and key transit stops. Vision Zero will work with The MTA to develop  safer pedestrian environments around Bronx bus lines. Pedestrian crossings will be added and the bicycle network will be expanded. The City will develop pedestrian safety enhancements around new housing development locations that are part of the Housing New York Plan in the Bronx.

Speed cameras will be implemented and additional enforcement will focus on dangerous pedestrian areas and overnight speeding.

Educational campaigns will target children and seniors as well as pedestrians in dangerous areas. Additionally billboard campaigns will target night-time drivers.

The complete Bronx Pedestrian Safety Action Plan can be downloaded here 

 

Brooklyn Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

Brooklyn pedestrian safety mapWith 2.6 million residents Brooklyn is a large and highly populated borough. Every year an average of 46 pedestrians die in traffic accident in Brooklyn, the highest average of all 5 boroughs however  the fatality rate per 100,000 residents is 1.79, the lowest of all boroughs.  60% of pedestrian fatalities occurs on arterial roadways such as Atlantic Avenue, Ocean Avenue, Myrtle Avenue, Rockaway Parkway, 4th Avenue, and 86th Street.  Another 36 % of the Brooklyn pedestrian fatalities occur on local streets. Off-peak hours periods are the most deadly with seniors representing 36% of all fatalities. Hit and runs are frequent. Dangerous driving, especially  speeding and failing to yield to pedestrians, are the primary cause or a contributing factor in 65% of Brooklyn’s pedestrian fatalities. In most cases the pedestrian was following the law.

Safety engineering improvements will be implemented at at the Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas defined in the Brooklyn borough action plan (see map). The  pedestrian crossing time will be significantly expanded on all Brooklyn corridors and exclusive pedestrian crossing time will be added to all possible intersections. Signal timing will be modified to reduce off-peak speeding and 25 MPH speed limit signage will be installed on corridors. A dedicated DOT staff member will reach out to Brooklyn communities with a high number of pedestrian fatalities and severe injuries. Better lighting will be installed under elevated trains and key transit stops. Vision Zero will work with The MTA to develop a safer pedestrian environment around Brooklyn bus lines. 60 new speed bumps will be installed in Brooklyn annually. Additional Neighborhood Slow Zones will be developed. Bicycle networks will be expanded. The City will be proactive and will develop pedestrian safety enhancements around new housing development locations that are part of the New York Housing Plan in Brooklyn.

The DOT will deploy speed cameras by schools,  in and around Priority Corridors, Intersections, and high-crash locations. NYPD will focus enforcement and deploy additional resources in precincts with high crashe data and also Prioritize targeted enforcement at all 142 mileas of Brooklyn Priority Corridors, 91 Priority Intersections, and 18 square miles of Brooklyn Priority Areas annually.

Multilingual campaigns targeting children and seniors as well as targeted street team outreach will be deployed at Priority Areas, Intersections and Corridors.

The complete Brooklyn Pedestrian Safety Action Plan can be downloaded here

Manhattan Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

Manhattan pedestrian safety mapManhattan is the densest borough with a population that nearly doubles each weekday. Its a borough of pedestrians with one of 5 commuters walking to work and 80% of households not owning a car. The most dangerous areas are the congested corridors such as 42nd Street and busy neighborhoods such as Midtown because that’s also where most commuters are clustered. Pedestrians fatalities represent almost 73% of all traffic fatalities compared to 58% for the entire city of New York. Manhattan has the highest pedestrian fatality rate of all boroughs. Every week on average 6 pedestrians are killed or severely injured in Manhattan; that’s almost one a day. Intersections along arterial roads are particularly dangerous with most fatal accidents happening below 59th street. During rush hours, congestion restrains vehicle speed and the rate of pedestrian fatalities is lower than during off peak times. 27% of all pedestrian fatalities happen at night. This is really concerning considering that less than 3% of pedestrian activity takes place during these hours. Visitors and commuters represent 39% of all pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in Manhattan and seniors 41%.  Passenger vehicles and trucks are the cause of pedestrian fatalities with taxis and buses accounting for a small share. Dangerous driving and dangerous pedestrian choices contributed equally to Manhattan’s pedestrian fatalities (43% vs 43%).

 

Safety engineering improvements will be implemented at the Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas defined in the Manhattan borough action plan (see map). The  pedestrian crossing time will be significantly expanded on all Manhattan corridors and exclusive pedestrian crossing time will be added to all possible intersections. Signal timing will be modified to reduce off-peak speeding and 25 MPH speed limit signage will be installed on corridors. A dedicated DOT staff member will reach out to Manhattan communities with a high number of pedestrian fatalities and severe injuries. DOT will investigate the feasibility of various policies, such as limiting left-turns from major two-way streets, to improve safety and circulation throughout the Midtown area. The off-hours delivery program will be continued to reduce the number of accidents between trucks and pedestrians. Vision Zero will work with The MTA to develop a safer pedestrian environment around Manhattan bus lines. The bicycle network will be expanded.  The City will develop pedestrian safety enhancements around new housing development locations such as the Hudson Yards.

Speed cameras will be implemented near schools and on priority corridors and areas. New resources will be allocated to precincts with a high rate of pedestrian fatalities. Additional enforcement will target 57 miles of Manhattan Priority Corridors, 60 Manhattan Priority Intersections and  6 square miles of Manhattan Priority Areas. The NYPD will also focus on failure-to-yield enforcement during nighttime hours and initiate a series of targeted truck enforcement blitzes to reduce failure to yield and keep large trucks on truck routes. Awareness campaigns will target children and seniors. Target street teams will conduct outreach on safety issues in sensitive areas.

The complete action plan can be downloaded here

Queens Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

Queens Pedestrain Safety MapQueens is the largest borough in size and is among the world’s most diverse urban areas with residents representing more than 100 countries and speaking 130 different languages. The urban landscape is as diverse as its population with a mix of densely populated, transit-oriented urban nodes; lower density, suburban-style neighborhoods; and beach communities. JFK and Laguardia airports are also located in Queens. Most crashes and pedestrians fatalities are concentrated in the “downtown areas” of  Flushing, Elmhurst and Jamaica as well as along the arterial streets and subway lines. On average one pedestrian is killed or severely injured every weekday. Also in recent years pedestrians fatalities have been increasing in Queens. 56 pedestrians died in 2013 a 51% increase over the previous three-year average. Queens’s pedestrian fatality rate is above the NYC average. Again, most pedestrian fatalities do not happen at rush hour but in 76% of cases during non peak hours with 16% of them happening overnight. 35% of fatalities involved seniors. Dangerous driving contributes to 76% of all fatalities with speeding and failure to yield being the main factors.

As in all other boroughs, safety engineering improvements will be implemented at all areas at at the Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas defined in the pedestrian safety action plan (see map). The pedestrian crossing time will be expanded on all Queens Priority Corridors by the end of 2017 and exclusive pedestrian crossing time will be added to all Priority Intersections. Signal timing will be modified to help decrease speeding during off peak hours and additional speed limit signage will be added. A dedicated DOT staff member will reach out to Queens communities with a high number of pedestrian fatalities and severe injuries. Additional lighting under elevated trains and around other key transit stops will be added. Vision Zero will work with The MTA to develop a safer pedestrian environment around Queens bus lines. The bicycle network will be expanded.  The City will develop pedestrian safety enhancements around new housing development locations. A recent example  is the Hunters Point South development in Long Island City which will be the the largest new affordable housing development to be built in New York City since the 1970’s. This development was coupled with pedestrian and bicycle improvements to the existing streetscape to accommodate the anticipated increase in foot-traffic.

Speed cameras will be installed near schools and priority areas and corridors. Additional resources will be deployed and focus on traffic enforcement in precincts with high rates of crashe fatalities and enforcement will be increased globally along all 127 miles of Queens Priority Corridors, at at all 72 Queens Priority Intersections and within all 17 square miles of Queens Priority Areas.

Multilingual education and awareness campaigns will focus on seniors and children and street-level outreach will be conducted in dangerous areas.  In addition, hands-on safety demonstrations such as car safety seat checks, free helmet fittings and giveaways, anti-DWI information sessions, and Saturday table seminars will be made available through Queens council members and community groups.

Download the complete Queens Pedestrian Safety Action Plan here

Staten Island Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

Staten Island Pedestrian Safety map

Staten Island is New York City’s most physically distinct borough. 82% of Staten Island residents own a car and two out of three drive to work. Except for the North Shore neighborhoods, the population is not as dense and as pedestrian oriented as any of the other boroughs. North Shore neighborhoods can be characterized as more transit-oriented—with the Staten Island Ferry, Staten Island Railroad, and a dense bus network converging in St. George—and, in turn, the North Shore attracts higher levels of pedestrian activity and therefore the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities of the borough as well. On average, 7 pedestrian die and 40 suffer severe personal injury in a traffic accident  on Staten Island every year. This average is the lowest of all NYC’s borough but it has been increasing in recent years.  80% of pedestrian weekday fatalities occur during the afternoon and the evening with almost half of the fatal pedestrian accidents occurring mid-block between two intersections.  Staten Island may lack an adequate frequency of safe routes across streets in places where pedestrians want or need to cross.

Safety engineering improvements will be implemented at all areas at at the Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas which are mostly located in the North Shore area. Exclusive pedestrian crossing times will be added if feasible on all dangerous intersections and time will be expanded on the existing ones located on all priority corridors. Signal timing will be modified to decrease speeding during off-peak hours. Additional speed limit signage will be installed. A dedicated DOT staff member will reach out to Staten Island communities with a high number of pedestrian fatalities and severe injuries. Vision Zero will coordinate with The MTA to ensure bus operations contribute to a safe pedestrian environment. The City will develop pedestrian safety enhancements around new housing development locations. The bicycle network will be expanded.

Speed cameras will be installed near schools and priority areas and corridors. Enforcement will target  Staten Island Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas with a Focus on failure-to-yield and speeding enforcement in the afternoon and evening.

Additionally education and awareness campaign will target seniors and children.

The complete Pedestrian Safety Action Plan can be downloaded here

 

 

 

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New York Wrongful Death Lawyer Howard HershenhornOur partner New York Personal Injury Lawyer Howard Hershenhorn commented on the recent pictures that 28 year old Dominique Sharpton posted on Instagram and told the New York Daily News that “Her gallivanting around in high heels and climbing a mountain in Bali drastically diminish the value of her case because it clearly shows that her injuries are not severe, and as a result, she will not be paid or awarded any substantial amount of money by any rational jury”. The daughter of Reverend Sharpton who sued the city for $5 million after injuring her ankle in Soho recently posted pictures of herself climbing mountains in Indonesia. She has also been pictured in high heels at a hippie party and climbing the dicey terrain of Red Rock Canyon in Nevada.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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airbag1aOne in seven vehicles on American roads may have defective airbags that can potentially severely injured or even killed passengers as they violently deployed and send shrapnel flying into the car passenger’s compartment. Yesterday after more than 10 years of denial, Takata admitted that his products were defective and agreed to double the number of vehicles recalled in the Unites States to nearly 34 millions.

When a crash happens, pellets of a propellant based on ammonia nitrate are ignited and generate the nitrogen gas that inflates the airbag in a fraction of a second.  Takata said manufacturing problems, together with exposure to moisture in cars in humid regions, can cause the propellant to degrade. This can make the propellant burn too strongly when the airbag is deployed, rupturing the inflater and sending metal fragments into the car’s interior and injuring the driver or passengers.

Read more in the New York Times

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Greta GreeneA 2 year old girl who suffered severe personal injury yesterday after being hit by falling debris, died Today at the hospital. Greta Greene (facebook picture on the left) was sitting outside with her grand mother when they were both struck by terra-cotta bricks from a window ledge that fell from the 8th floor of  the Esplanade Manhattan nursing home at 305 West End Ave in Manhattan.

The toddler lost consciousness and nurses from the nursing home tried to resuscitate her. Her grandmother, 60 year old Susan Frierson, suffered severe leg injuries. They were both transported to the hospital where Greta passed away Today.

A protective scaffolding was erected last night on orders on the Department Of Buildings. The DOB is investigating what caused the ledge to fall. It also issued a violation to the Esplanade Manhattan nursing home for failure to maintain a property in a safe and compliant manner.

 

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AmbulanceAn 83 year old New Yorker was crossing the street in the middle of the block after parking his car when he was fatally struck by a car. The accident happened in front of his house on 103rd Ave in Queens, NYC. A little after 10;30 pm,m, 83 year old Nfn Locknauth had just parked his car and was crossing the street to go to his house when he was struck by a car. The elderly man was trapped under the car’s front right tires and dragged down the street for half a block. He was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital. Read more in the NY Daily News.

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In December 2013 4 people died and 70 others suffered personal injury in a Metro North train accident in New York. The National Transportation Board Investigation found that William Rockefeller the engineer who was operating the train had undiagnosed sleep apnea and nodded off  just before taking a 30 mph curve at 82 mph, causing the train to derail. Yesterday the office of Bronx DA Robert Johnson said that Rockefeller will not face criminal charges.  Read more here

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Rail Road curve amtrak accident locationPreliminary data show that the Amtrak train crash that killed 7 people and injured more than 200 others was related to speeding.

The train was traveling at a speed of 106 miles per hour just before the curve (see picture) while it should have been traveling at 50 mph. The train engineer, 32 year old Brandon Bostian from Queens, NYC, applied the emergency breaks “just moments’ before the train derailed.

The engineer didn’t provide much information to the police and his lawyer said he has no explanation for the crash.

Further investigation will be conducted by the NTSB including an interview of the engineer to find out the detailed causes of this catastrophic railroad accident.  Read more in the WSJ

picture: Google Maps

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Train engineerThe Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 was passed by Congress 1 month after 25 people died in a train crash in L.A.  Investigators found that just before the accident, the train engineer who was texting on his cell phone missed a signal indicating that a freight train was ahead of him on the same track and that he shouldn’t have proceeded on this track.  The train crashed at full speed in the freight train killing 25 people and injuring many of the 300 passengers on board.  5 weeks after the accident, the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 was passed by Congress, requiring that all trains be equipped with positive train control system by the end of 2015.

Positive Train Control is a basic crash avoidance system that monitors speed limits and track signals  electronically and signal to the engineer if something is wrong. If the engineer doesn’t respond to the signal, the Positive Train Control system automatically takes over and decrease the speed or stop the train.

The rail industry has been pushing hard to delay the upgrade and have been trying to push the end of 2015 deadline even further.  If the railroad industry had been more proactive and the system had been implemented immediately after the Rail Safety Improvement Act was passed, train accidents such as the Amtrak Accident (see previous blog) that happened two days ago and killed 7 people as well the Metro-North derailment that happened in New York in 2013 and killed 4 passengers could have been avoided.

See a Rachel Maddow Video on this subject here

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Domikick Deluca, a Yellow hard hat25 year old construction worker, died after falling from scaffolding yesterday.  The young worker was doing facade work at the Butler Houses on Webster Ave in Claremont in the Bronx when he lost his footing and fell 15 feet . He landed on his head and was transported to the hospital unresponsive and with severe trauma. He was declared dead when he arrived at the hospital. This construction worker is the 8th person to die in a construction accident in New York City since the beginning of the year (see previous blog) .

Read more in the NY Daily News

 

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Amtrak AccidentAn Amtrak train heading from New York to Washington DC derailed yesterday night in Philadelphia. 6 people died and many the 243 passengers of suffered personal injury and were taken to the hospital. Among the people injured 6 of them were in critical condition. The Amtrak accident happened yesterday night around 9:30 close to Frankford Avenue and Wheatsheaf Lane near a bend in the track. One of the nation’s deadliest railroad accidents happened in the same spot on Labor Day 1943. A train carrying military service members on leave derailed killing 79 of them and injuring 117. The cause of yesterday’s train accident is still unknown. Speed as well deteriorating infrastructure and aging equipment are among the potential factors to be investigated. Former Congressman  Patrick J. Murphy was on board when the accident happened and tweeted the pictures on the left.
Read more about this train accident in the New York Times