Pedestrians Getting The Message About Hand-Held Distractions

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — New Yorkers are facing real road dangers.

A new study shows some of the city’s busiest intersections are also some of its most dangerous.

John Metaxas got behind the wheel in one of CBS 2’s Mobil 2 units on Wednesday and surveyed the scene on Hamilton Heights.

It may be the deadliest stretch of road in the city. In the 10 blocks of Broadway between 140th and 150th streets four pedestrians were killed over a three-year period.

New York City’s widest boulevards are its most deadly. In six lanes of traffic on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, eight pedestrians lost their lives in the three years from 2007 through 2009.

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“When you think you are ready to cross, you get ready to cross and the traffic is going by quickly,” Prospect Heights, Brooklyn resident Jackie Cooper said.

“It’s so confusing because you don’t know which light is indicated for you to cross and for them to stop,” added Crown Heights resident Hugh Davis.

Eight more died in traffic accidents on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan.

“I saw somebody get hit. I don’t think they were killed, but it was really ugly,” said resident Bruce Katz.

And these are not even the worst.

“The most dangerous in the city is Broadway. There were 11 fatalities in Manhattan and seven more in the Bronx,” said Michelle Ernst of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

Among the other deadly roads in the city, according to the Campaign, there is the West Side Highway, which also had eight fatalities in the survey period, Kings Highway and Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, the Grand Concourse in the Bronx and the Bowery — which each had seven deaths.

And it’s not just the traffic that’s the problem. In just a few minutes, Metaxas saw many distracted pedestrians not really paying attention while crossing.

But despite the fatalities, Ernst said safety improvements like countdown clocks on red lights and pedestrian islands have driven pedestrian deaths to the lowest level ever recorded.

“This city is much safer than it was five, 10 years ago,” Ernst said.

But it’s still advisable to not use earbuds, don’t text while crossing and don’t blast your radio. Deaths may be down, but one death is still too many.

Queens Boulevard, long considered one of the most deadly in the city, registered five deaths in the survey period — but that was not in the top 10. Analysts said it’s because of increased crossing times and safety barriers installed there.

Ever have a bad experience on any of these dangerous roads? Tells us about it below.

Comments (13)
  1. nick nyc says:

    Potholes, people who think they can park anywhere plus jaywalking pedestrians. When I have to come to a stop or serve to avoid potholes or some princess on her cell phone

  2. Levi says:

    I’m not so sure it’s the “roads”. I think it’s the drivers. The new 55 seems to be 70.. I guess the section in a new car’s manual dealing with turn signals must be very complicated; so few use turn signals that it must be the fault of the manual.. Ever experience someone passing you on the right, speeding in order to be the first to goe through a red light? If you drive on the LE as often as I do you can’t help but admire the HOV lane drivers. They are very creative. In and out at will, sometimes 90 mph, all creative, all fun. Bad roads? I think not.

  3. voiceofreason says:

    asian drivers cant see so well because of their eyes and they cause most accidents

    1. Dan Te says:

      Wrong answer…Asians don’t drive….they only use bicycles to deliver take out foods…so it must be the other ethnic groups.

  4. Eric Kontas says:

    Really? Last time I checked they were actually low risk. I’m an insurance agent so I know what I’m talking about. The most claims filed are by white upper class males. Average claims are over $7k per incident. 75% of those claims were considered at fault. Most of them involved an unsafe driving fine.

    1. Joe says:

      Eric thats only because H1spanics can’t read or write English so they can’t fill out the forms….but really David makes an excellent point here…..EDUCATE YOURSELF ERIC!!

  5. scotty says:

    Rich, care to quote a statute? The guy who hit the Dalai Lama’s nephew in Florida is not being charged, as long as the driver can prove they had right of way and couldn’t see the pedestrian or react fast enough to avoid him/her, I don’t think charges can be filed.

  6. Rich says:

    scotty.. just because the car has a light doesn’t make it okay for them to run someone over.If they kill someone by accident it’s called involuntary vehicular manslaughter. They will definitely get jail time.

    1. Tai says:

      not true Rich. If the ped is not in the cross walk, no drugs, no violations by the driver no charges will be filed and the driver can go to the club the next weekend if they aren’t hurt themselves or too tramatized to party. I think its something people should think about before they enter the road way. Besides what if its a hit and run? or an sick person behind the wheel (think diabetic shock) no charges for driver biker/pedestrian dead. Don’t try to win against a 2 ton machine….its not worth the risk. I have a sister severly disabled due to being hit by a car and she will never be the same as for the driver- he seems to be living his life as if nothing ever happened.

  7. scotty says:

    A few years ago, I saw stylishly-dressed woman start to cross Broadway at 74th street going from west to east, and about 2/3s of the way to the island she got hit by a Volvo, flew up in the air and landed on the pavement. Game over. Not sure if she was listening to an ipod or on the phone but she hadn’t noticed the light change and never looked or heard the car coming. It was apparent no charges could be filed against the driver as she had the light. This story was never in the news; since then I have been convinced that earbuds and such are a major danger to pedestrians and stories like this are being minimized or kept out of the news due to the influence of Apple and other deep-pockets tech and media companies. How many in NYC have died this way?

    1. Joe says:

      scotty about 14 people died that way in the last 10 years, they were all native american

      1. mvnertny says:

        apaches or spread eagles

  8. jj says:

    Even with the countdown lights pedestrian time to cross is too short. I a pretty quick walker but am barely halfway across neptune ave and cropsy before my time is up.

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