Besides maybe (probably not) reaping the benefits of preferential snow plowing and trash pickup, Park Slope looks to have found itself squarely in the middle of another issue dominating De Blasio’s early days in office: the increased push for cars to stop killing New Yorkers all the time.
Of course, there’s at least one obvious, heartbreaking reason for this: the death of 12-year-old Sammy Cohen Eckstein last October after being run down by a truck on Prospect Park West. The Times has since chronicled the ongoing activism of his grieving parents, and the speed limit on Prospect Park West has already been reduced to 25 mph in the wake of the incident.
More generally, though, the Post reported today that undercover cops have been posing as pedestrians in the neighborhood, issuing 17 summonses to careless drivers in two days (that same number constituted about 20 percent of the total summonses issued in the district for the entirety of last year, to put it in context). The area’s also hosting a Department of Transportation forum (at the new Grand Central Oyster bar, of all places) on rendering bike deliveries safer than the current, traffic-salmoning, red light-running, sidewalk-riding, helmet-less nightmare state of affairs. Restaurants will now be required to provide helmets, lights and bells to deliveryman—sort of mind-boggling that they weren’t before, but better late than never—and City Councilman Brad Lander, who helped organize the event, explained, “It’s a concern we’ve heard from a lot of constituents, about safety on the streets and ensuring that delivery cyclists understand the laws, and wanting the delivery cyclists to be safe as well.” Which is all good and sensible, albeit a little intensely focused on one specific neighborhood when major thoroughfares like, say, Bushwick Ave. continue to act as virtual autobahns for drivers and death traps for cyclists and pedestrians. Still, as long as they don’t start beating up jaywalkers, this all seems fine.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.