Monday’s Headlines: Day of Remembrance (In More Ways Than One) Edition

The Memorial Grove for Victims of Traffic Violence opened on Sunday in Brooklyn. Photo: Luke Ohlson
The Memorial Grove for Victims of Traffic Violence opened on Sunday in Brooklyn. Photo: Luke Ohlson

As we promised last week, the Adams administration and Families for Safe Streets cut the ribbon on the Memorial Grove for Victims of Traffic Violence in Lincoln Terrace/Arthur Somers Park on the eastern end of Crown Heights.

Photo: Luke Ohlson
Photo: Luke Ohlson

The mayor skipped the event, which was unfortunate, because all elected officials need frequent reminders of the toll that road violence takes on our city and, disproportionately, on lower-income communities and communities of color. Members of the group to which no one wants to ever join spoke passionately about how desperately they hope that their family member will be the last victim of a reckless driver, somber in the knowledge that we are not there yet.

So far this year, more than 220 people — fewer than last year at this same point, but more than any other year since 2014. And 42,974 people have been injured this year (not including a cyclist who was on his way to the Day of Remembrance event itself, Gothamist reported).

“Each death is devastating, and a heartbreaking reminder of the work that must be done to get Vision Zero back on track. We know how to prevent traffic violence,” Families for Safe Streets co-founder Amy Cohen said, referring to a package of bills pending in Albany that includes Sammy’s Law, which would allow New York City to set its own speed limits, and is named after Cohen’s 12-year-old son, who was killed in 2013 by a speeding van driver. (Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez and Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue ably represented the administration at the ribbon-cutting.)

Sunday was a good day to remember the Day of Remembrance because tonight, members of Upper West Side Community Board 7 are going to continue their slide from progressive values to revanchism by passing an offensive anti-safety resolution that will certainly add more mourners to next year’s Day of Remembrance.

The resolution appears to be a fit of pique over a resolution passed in September by Manhattan Community Board 8 — which covers the portion of the Upper East Side opposite Central Park from the confines of CB7. The CB8 resolution demanded “fully protected crosstown bike lanes approximately every 10 blocks between 60th and 110th streets … on both sides of the park, and a two-way protected bikeway around Central Park.”

But the proposed CB7 resolution that will be debated tonight shows that more than a park divides the Upper East and Upper West sides.

“Manhattan Community Board 7 does not approve either the addition of crosstown bike lanes (protected or not) in or through Central Park, or through the crosstown transverses, or the addition of a two-way protected bikeway around Central Park.”

That’s foolishness, plain and simple. As Streetsblog reported last week, Central Park is not safe. Since the start of this year, there have been 56 collisions inside Central Park, resulting in 37 injuries, including five cyclists and six pedestrians, according to NYPD stats. Beyond that, in just the month and a half since CB8 passed its resolution calling for crosstown protected bike lanes, there have been 389 reported crashes between 59th and 110th streets on both sides of the park, injuring 34 cyclists, 36 pedestrians and 82 motorists — numbers that will certainly go down if the roadways are redesigned for safety.

The fireworks start at 6:30 p.m. To sign up, register here. We’ll be there. [Update: A new resolution related to bike infrastructure has come forward, so the resolution above may be tabled, defeated, passed or incorporated into the new one. Stay tuned!]

Until then, here’s the roundup from the weekend:

  • DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez and Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso took an inaugural ride on the new Emmons Avenue protected bike lane — and got properly laudatory coverage from News12.
  • Some Upper East Siders still want to take an open street away from a private school, arguing unconvincingly that the roadway is less safe now because kids are playing on it. (Upper East Site)
  • The Daily News covered Council Member Lincoln Restler’s bid for more dog runs.
  • Ginia Bellafante took in the Moses play, “Straight Line Crazy,” and had some thoughts. (NY Times)
  • Just 47 percent of office workers are in their offices on any given day, the City reports.
  • And, finally, other media (Queen of the Click, for instance) are starting to notice that our old man editor is on a rampage against the NYPD’s recent arrest of attorney Adam White for un-defacing a driver’s defaced license plate. White, as you recall, was charged with criminal mischief for making the illegally doctored plate readable to city speed cameras, so our editor has been on a one-man criminal mischief wave of his own over the past few days. Here are a few of the best examples:
    • Fixing a cop’s plate:

    • Fixing a completely fake plate in Queens:

    • Painting new numbers on a scofflaw hearse:

    • An attempted criminal mischief case in Bay Ridge:

    • Some drunken criminal mischief in Park Slope:


Families for Safe Streets Meets With Cuomo Rep to Talk DMV Reforms

In a meeting with representatives from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration Tuesday, members of Families for Safe Streets called for reforms to New York State Department of Motor Vehicles protocols, with the goal of discouraging reckless driving and obtaining some measure of justice for crash victims and their families. Karen Rae, Cuomo’s deputy transportation secretary, met with relatives […]