Last week, I Quant NY released a few infographics confirming that Williamsburg (and the area around Broadway, in particular) is quite possibly the epicenter of New York’s problem with pedestrian deaths, and over the weekend, the data was horrifically reinforced by the death of 21-year-old nursing student Marisol Martinez, who was struck by a bus while crossing at Union and Meeker.
In response, city council members Stephen Levin and Antonio Reynoso held a press conference on Sunday (along with Assembly members Joe Lentol and Martiza Davila) pushing Mayor de Blasio to prioritize Williamsburg in the “Vision Zero” push, and to take the new program even further with common-sense measures like Leading Pedestrian Intervals, wherein pedestrians actually have a few seconds to cross at the light without an onslaught of cars trying to turn into the crosswalk at the same time. Seems pretty reasonable.
“It should not take a tragedy to get the city to pay attention,” said Reynoso. “[The city] should be taking a proactive approach that prevents these incidents from happening at all.” It’s doubtful anyone expected “Vision Zero” to actually bring the rate of accidents down to zero immediately (or ever, necessarily), but it’d also be pretty nice if people didn’t die just for having the audacity to set foot in a crosswalk.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.