Fallen Pedestrians Memorialized in Hell’s Kitchen

chelsea1.jpgChristine Berthet of CHEKPEDS speaks at Ninth and 40th, where Susanne M. Schnitzer was killed in April. At left are Manhattan DA candidates Cy Vance and Richard Aborn. State Senator Tom Duane, who also spoke, stands at right.

On Saturday, over 50 people, including several local electeds and candidates, joined bereaved family members for a memorial march in honor of pedestrians killed on Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen.

In recent years, drivers have struck and killed six people on Ninth between 36th and 45th Streets. The victims were eulogized this weekend, with the circumstances of their deaths — some of which received little or no mention in local media — recounted. The march was sponsored by the Clinton Hell’s Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety (CHEKPEDS), the Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Association and Transportation Alternatives.

chelsea2.jpgImpatient motorists lay on their horns as the procession, with TA’s Shin-pei Tsay bearing a memorial plaque, crosses 40th.

chelsea3.jpgA New Orleans brass band played hymns along the route.

chelsea4.jpgAnahi Vargas, sister of Fabiola Grande Coyotl, speaks. Coyotl was seven months pregnant when she was hit by a truck at 38th Street in November of 2008. Her death didn’t make the news.

chelsea5.jpgBerthet railed at the local press for ignoring the carnage on city streets, where on average a pedestrian is killed every 36 hours. The Daily News was the only paper to cover Saturday’s march.

chelsea6.jpgTA’s Paul Steely White called for safer street conditions and prosecutions of deadly drivers.

chelsea7.jpgTsay and TA’s Julia De Martini Day install a plaque at Ninth and 37th.

Photos: Brad Aaron