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Morning Spew

Our Leaders Are Still Fucking Around While New Yorkers Die Preventable Deaths on NYC Streets

Does anyone in power care?

An NYPD officer carries the backpack of 7-year-old Kamari Hughes, who was killed by an NYPD tow truck driver while crossing the street with his mother in Fort Greene in October. (Liam Quigley / Hell Gate)

Around 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning, a driver of a black sedan opened their car door onto a Citi Bike rider on Broadway near Lorimer Street in Williamsburg. The impact from the door flung the cyclist into the path of another driver, and the 64-year-old cyclist was killed.

On Tuesday evening, a little more than a block from that first fatal crash, a driver ran a red light at the intersection of Harrison and Lorimer and crashed into an MTA bus. The passenger in that vehicle, 33-year-old Alex Caba-Guitierrez, was thrown out of the windshield and later died. The driver ditched their Mercedes and fled the scene. 

The NYPD has not responded to our questions about whether the driver who doored the cyclist has been charged with a crime, or whether they have apprehended the driver of the Mercedes.

Broadway, which goes from Kent Avenue down to Broadway Junction, has long been a chaotic and dangerous stretch for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. In 2015, the City's Department of Transportation made the whole four-mile roadway a "Vision Zero Priority Corridor," because more New Yorkers were killed or injured there than other parts of town. 

Yet eight years later, Broadway is still on the DOT's list of streets that desperately need safety improvements. A spokesperson for the DOT told Hell Gate that "one traffic death is too many," that the DOT has improved nine intersections along the 4 mile stretch, and that there is a planned improvement for the intersection where the cyclist was killed on Tuesday, set for later this year. But it clearly hasn't been enough. From January 2015 through January of 2024, Broadway has seen 1,480 crashes, 1,815 injuries, and 12 deaths, according to City data compiled by Crash Mapper.

Today, Streetsblog published a story about the depressing state of street safety (or "Vision Zero," or "not risking life and limb getting around New York City," whatever you want to call it) in 2024. The gist is that the two entities responsible for keeping us all safe on our streets—the City Council and the DOT—are basically on nonspeaking terms. 

The City Council does not trust the DOT, and for good reason. The DOT has been fully undermined by the loyalists and lackeys in the Adams administration who kill street projects whenever a powerful ally of the mayor tells them to. The DOT utterly failed to meet their legally mandated bus and bike lane installation requirements last year, and refuses to even come to the City Council with facts and figures when asked.

On the other hand, the DOT has good reason to not trust the City Council, a body chock full of elected representatives who care more about parking spaces than street safety projects, and who could do something about Mayor Adams's decision to cut the DOT's budget but chose to complain about it instead. 

Meanwhile, New Yorkers keep dying on the streets in record numbers. Traffic fatalities are up in 2024—36 people have been killed so far—compared to this point in 2023.

Does anyone in power care?

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