Another Pedestrian is Killed in Chinatown

The Canal Street approach to the Manhattan Bridge is a dangerous spot. Photo: Google
The Canal Street approach to the Manhattan Bridge is a dangerous spot. Photo: Google

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A driver ran over and killed a 90-year-old pedestrian on deadly Canal Street on Saturday morning, but was not detained.

Police have not released the name of the dead pedestrian and have only given preliminary information.

The pedestrian, cops said, was crossing Canal Street from south to north at Elizabeth Street at around 6:30 a.m. when he was struck by the 61-year-old driver of a 2013 Ford Escape registered to the Department of Sanitation, who was heading eastbound towards the Manhattan Bridge. Police did not say whether the driver ran a red light, but he or she was not immediately charged.

The victim had been taken to Bellevue Hospital and died before he could give his side of the story. The investigation is ongoing, police said.

One thing that is known is that Canal Street is a dangerous roadway that city officials have refused to redesign, though it has long been known as Manhattan’s “Boulevard of Death.” Advocates with the Street Vendor Project rallied last year to demand safety upgrades which remain off the table.

According to city stats, there have been 2,567 reported crashes on just the stretch of Canal Street between the Manhattan Bridge and Hudson Street since 2016 — close to two crashes per day. The crashes injured 54 cyclists (killing one), 109 pedestrians and 229 motorists (also killing one).

By comparison, a similarly short stretch of Houston Street just a few blocks to the north, had 1,251 reported crashes (roughly half) that caused injuries to 35 cyclists, 52 pedestrians and 129 motorists (also roughly half as many as Canal).

The intersection of Elizabeth and Canal streets in Chinatown is pretty much the epicenter of agony. In the zone one block in either direction from the intersection, there were 105 crashes injuring one cyclist, nine pedestrians and nine motorists last year.

Two pedestrians have been killed in Chinatown since January, 2019, city stats show, one of them on the also-dangerous eastern stretch of Canal Street.