Call to stop pedestrian deaths


More than 100 people stood on the steps of City Hall Sunday to call for safer streets for pedestrians.

The event, organized by Transportation Alternatives, called for safety improvements at deadly intersections. The group, which held up hand cutouts to call for a stop to accidents, said that half of pedestrian injuries and fatalities occur at just 10 percent of N.Y.C. intersections, including Chambers St. and Broadway, which is right near where the rally was held.

Battery Park City resident Bob Townley, executive director of Manhattan Youth, walked over to City Hall with his wife Veronica Korvin and his 17-year-old son, Robert. “We wanted to show support for what we were doing on West St.,” Townley said. “Because of deadly consequences, we’re trying to be preventive and proactive on West St.”

Townley helped lead a Downtown group that got the state Dept. of Transportation to cancel a proposed change at West and Warren Sts. that the state was pursuing even though officials admitted it would lead to more accidents at the intersection.

“We did stop the two left-turning lanes on Warren St.,” Townley said. “But, just as I was walking here with my son today, cars are speeding on West St. They still think it’s the West Side Highway but it’s West St., a 35-mile-an-hour speed limit. That’s what we’re going to be working on — speeding and drunk driving. And we’re also going to be working on the [bike] path in Hudson River Park where two people died.”

T.A. said that if Mayor Bloomberg can take bold steps to combat transfats in foods, smoking and gun violence, then he needs to address the “epidemic” of pedestrian injuries and fatalities as well.

—Jefferson Siegel