Pedestrian dies in accident with sanitation truck, Feb 23, 2014
  • Kingston and Carrol St. 9:25 AM, today.

     

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    A tragic accident claimed the life of 25-year-old Gedalia Greenzayd in Crown Heights this morning. Originally from Ukraine, Gedalia was studying Smicha in Morristown, NJ. He was in Crown Heights to celebrate the wedding of a close friend. Levaya i...

    http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140223/crown-heights/25-year-old-struck-killed-by-nyc-sanitation-truck
  • But was the truck "zooming" along at 30+ MPH?

    On that stretch of Kingston, it's rare that anyone can drive more than about 20 MPH.
  • I wonder how could this have happened if the decedent (and the other two pedestrians who were also crossing the street at that time) had the right of way. 
  • It seems that the truck didn't hit him so much as he walked into the truck.
  • The reports are stating he was hit by the back wheels, as the truck was making a turn.

    ....which is a different type of accident than being hit by the front of a truck.
  • Even if I wasn't at fault for someone's death, if I was the driver of that truck I would probably think about it for the rest of my life.

  • As I commented on another site, this is a corner where there are two "bumped out" corners thanks to another one of the former DOT-nazi;s ill-advised and totally unneeded "upgrade" to a rather narrow already Kingston Ave between Empire Blvd and EP. Since the man in question was hit by the REAR wheels of the sanitation truck, it is likely that, while negotiating the turn, the truck's rear end angled outwards and hit the man. On top of that, the intersection in question, I believe, still had some accumulation of snow and ice since virtually all of the others in the neighborhood still did. Of course, I cannot be sure that this was the problem here, but it is certainly well within the realm of possibility. This is what can result from Sadik-Khan's steamroller approach to "improving" NYC's roads while virtually neglecting all repaving not a part of her street improvement plans. 

    I wonder how many accidents have been caused by her redesign of EP where the lanes are continually changed from 2 to 3 in each direction in her attempt to micromanage speed. We now have a middle "lane" with broad yellow stripes. As a result, at least where I live, near Kingston, the presence of this no-man's land middle lane has seemed to actually encourage jaywalking in the middle of the block since one always has a safe place to stand while crossing. Great work!
  • @morralkan, I agree that the accident was probably the result of the changed street configuration + poor roadway conditions following the snowstorm. Its virtually impossible for someone to be hit by the rear wheels of a vehicle and have it be the drivers fault. Even if the driver is swerving, it means that the pedestrian was already too close to the vehicle when it passed.

    I think that the decision to reduce lanes as a method of "traffic calming" only serves to encourage poor pedestrian behavior, especially on streets that already have high volumes or are bus routes. Creating spaces where pedestrians think they have "safe harbor" causes people to try and cross streets against the light or to frogger through traffic. We would have been better off with a public service campaign educating people not to step off the curb without looking, walk into traffic while distracted from phones, ipods, etc., and not to push baby strollers out into oncoming traffic.
  • As a pedestrian, I can say that pedestrian behavior has definitely gotten worse at the corner of Kingston and Eastern Parkway since 1. the right lane of eastbound traffic was eliminated, which led to an increase in people standing around in the street waiting to cross and 2. the traffic signal was changed so that eastbound traffic still has a green after the light on the westbound side has changed to red, which led to a bunch of people attempting to cross based on the red light and not the walk signal while cars are still legally going through the intersection.

    As a driver, I can say that many traffic calming initiatives actually have the opposite effect on many drivers I know and, to use @homeowner's words, encourage poor driver behavior as well. The most effective, for me anyway, have been the countdown clocks at intersections.
  • Since I don't drive, I can only speak as a pedestrian, bklyngirl. As I mentioned, there is a lot more crossing in the middle of the block along EP since there is a nice, wide place to stand (and I do it also, though not when there are going to be mounds of snow in my way). 

    I also agree with homeowner since I am constantly seeing pedestrians on their cell phones, concentrating on their music, or doing lord only knows what instead of paying attention to the intersection or other pedestrians. I love it when I see bikers riding around with ear buds or Beats paying absolutely no attention to the traffic into which they are driving. And, of course, the mothers using their baby carriages as battering rams. (what the hell, they can always make more babies).

    Since Sadik-Khan's measures mostly had to more to do with making it difficult with drivers to drive and much less with safety, this is the dangerous situation with which we've ended up. For many, driving a car in NYC seems to have become the moral equivalent of shooting up heroin. I think many hipsters and out-of-towners feel that cycling is the only way one should be permitted to move around the city. They should really move to communes out in Oregon where they will be truly happy. If you want to live a Podunk lifestyle, don't come to NYC. 
  • As the headquarters for the Lubavitch, the area attracts a lot of folks who are from out of the area.

    While some come from as far Israel or countries formerly part of the USSR, the DNA article I linked above stated that the deceased "lived in New Jersey and was in Brooklyn for the weekend for a friend's wedding".

    This dynamic seems to make the area very much like a college campus, with visiting young people excitedly talking to each other to the degree that they may be less than fully aware of the realities the very urban, busy environment.

  • morralkan said:

    They should really move to communes out in Oregon where they will be truly happy. If you want to live a Podunk lifestyle, don't come to NYC. 



    Interesting. It's "podunk" to want less of an instrument wielded in more killings and severe injurings of New Yorkers than guns. One that trashes the city's environment via carbon monoxide, endless seas of asphalt, and metal, glass, and rubber left all over the place. You see, the real New Yorkers, like you, want as much of that showered upon the city as possible.
  • Yes, it is Podunk. I'm assuming that all of your groceries and other purchases are airlifted to your house so that you will have no responsibility for all of that pesky pollution. Really, if you hate asphalt so much, why would you choose to live in the biggest city in the US? Because there aren't enough hipster bars in Podunk??
  • Interesting. It's "podunk" to want less of an instrument wielded in more killings and severe injurings of New Yorkers than guns.


    This is not true. In 2013 there were 176 people killed in car vs. pedestrian accidents. There were 440 shootings in the first SIX months of the year. Even adding in serious injuries there are more people injured by guns than by cars. I will note that deaths by vehicle seem to cross geographic, racial, and economic lines while gun deaths tend to be concentrated in certain communities, racial groups and by economic status. People tend to ignore those deaths that don't touch them directly.
  • People also like to find "fault", where there is none.

    ...and pursue goals that are not realistic.

    For example, some believe that the judicial system should be used in most cases in which a pedestrian or biker dies from being hit by a car. Also, some believe that we can somehow reduce pedestrian deaths (or gun deaths....) to zero.

    Because neither goal is going to happen, they serve as distractions from practical things individuals can do to reduce their risks, and enforcement of existing laws.


  • @Whynot_31, a certain MTA employee shared with me that in the majority of cases where car vs. pedestrian deaths occurred and the driver was not intoxicated, the "victim" was (excluding child victims, of course).

    So yeah, the whole "don't wander out in traffic when you're drunk" thing might be a good practical start.
  • Yes, the MTA tends to know such stats because they tend to be covered in the same DOT and DOHMH reports as one of their big focuses: subway accidents. The victims in subway accidents are often intoxicated, and/or suicidal.

    Whereas, pedestrians hit by a vehicle on the surface are disproportionately male, and disproportionately intoxicated.

    It is an interesting field, one in which there are no clear answers:

    https://www.google.com/#q=characteristics+of+pedestrian+risk

  • homeowner said:

    Interesting. It's "podunk" to want less of an instrument wielded in more killings and severe injurings of New Yorkers than guns.


    This is not true. In 2013 there were 176 people killed in car vs. pedestrian accidents. There were 440 shootings in the first SIX months of the year. Even adding in serious injuries there are more people injured by guns than by cars. I will note that deaths by vehicle seem to cross geographic, racial, and economic lines while gun deaths tend to be concentrated in certain communities, racial groups and by economic status. People tend to ignore those deaths that don't touch them directly.


    People kill people in other cars as well, not just pedestrians.

    The death/serious injury numbers are actually pretty comparable. They are two of the most destructive menaces to this city.
  • whynot_31 said:

    Because neither goal is going to happen, they serve as distractions from practical things individuals can do to reduce their risks, and enforcement of existing laws.



    I don't think so. Zero may be idealistic, but having that as a goal doesn't prevent officials from making smart changes that have been proven to reduce traffic fatalities.

    The city has made a lot of great changes in recent years, and the result has been a sharp decline in traffic fatalities.

    The claim that Gruntzweig was killed due to some change Sadik-Khan made is just dumb. He was killed by a very common case of a driver right-hooking someone in a crosswalk. Happens all the time.
  • The amount of victim blaming in this thread is disgusting!

    @homeowner it's entirely possible to be hit by a large truck and end up under the rear wheels regardless of who is at faults plus the victim had the light so the truck right hooked him when it failed to yield.
  • When one thinks about it, there isn't a "victim" yet.

    Yes, Gedalia Greenzayd is dead.

    Yes, people miss him.

    Yes, it is clear he was crushed by a Sanitation truck.

    However, the legal system is the one with the authority to declare whether he was a victim.

    The police at the scene did not have enough evidence to issue the Sanitation driver a ticket, and a more complete investigation of the accident is now occurring.

    This investigation may result in charges (ie designate the deceased a "victim").

    The family can also pursue a civil lawsuit against the city, which may result in a settlement that involves an admission of wrong doing ((ie designate the deceased a "victim"....). Usually, such suits are settled without such admissions.

    BTW, as per Jewish tradition, his body was quickly flown home to the Ukraine and buried:
    http://crownheights.info/notices/426815/heartbreaking-funeral-for-yeshiva-student-killed-in-ch/

    ...no small feat.

  • Obviously because he got run over by the rear wheels, the truck was in the intersection before he was unless of course the truck cut the corner real close and the rear wheels jumped the curb.
  • If one sets an impossible goal, then one is doomed to failure. (sort of like the goal that all children will score "above average) For those who believe in the inherent evil of motor vehicles, this represents no problem at all. Forget that there are drunk pedestrians, often concentrating more on their iphones or grooving to their music; cyclists breezing diagonally through intersections, having cell phone chats or with music blasting through their headphones; or mothers wielding their baby carriages as battering rams as they walk across intersections. For these traffic extremists, the motorist is always wrong and their vehicles have no place in urban environments. 

    Of course there are drivers who are drunk or have taken a variety of drugs (including the obviously-benign pot) and when they cause accidents/injuries/deaths, the book should be thrown at them. Still, making the streets more difficult for motorists to negotiate and making it harder for them to see pedestrians or cyclists entering the roadway does not help anyone. Pedestrians or cyclists who engage in reckless crossing behavior and who cause accidents should also be criminally charged.
  • Obviously because he got run over by the rear wheels, the truck was in the intersection before he was unless of course the truck cut the corner real close and the rear wheels jumped the curb.
    Oftentimes the rear wheels of a truck travel significantly off-track with the front wheels.

    If one sets an impossible goal, then one is doomed to failure. 
    Commercial aviation has set zero fatalities as a goal, and has come pretty damn close to achieving it in the western world:
    Such a record was achieved by making safety a key goal and designing processes, systems, and technologies with it in mind.

    Roads designed with the safety of all users in mind aren't opposed to the interests of safe drivers, though they may not be compatible with maximizing free parking, and having high-quality bike lanes and pedestrian crossings will make bike and pedestrian behavior more predictable, which makes things better for drivers too. Keeping traffic to 20mph on most residential streets wouldn't particularly slow down traffic in urban neighborhoods, since it's so stop-and-go in any case. And slower speeds on urban streets make for safer conditions for auto drivers and passengers too!
  • Even if the rear wheels were "significantly off-track," the truck would still have had to be in the intersection before the pedestrian.

    Goals should still be achievable. In the case of airlines, there are, for example, a limited number of pilots who are actually flying the planes, so it is far easier to control for their drug and alcohol use. Not exactly the same thing for drivers. Also, there are rarely pedestrians walking or pedaling in front of airplanes.

    What Sadik-Khan has designed are roads with plenty of blind spots and curb bump-outs which can easier cause accidents. (Remember how the DOT had to rip out traffic islands along Ft Hamilton Pkwy because fire trucks would not actually be able to make a turn onto the street -- and how the DOT was kicking and screaming that there was no problem at all?) Narrowing fairly important roads (e.g. Empire Blvd) and putting in "beautifying" medians only makes it more likely that drivers will try to jockey around slow moving buses and trucks. And, as inconvenient as the truth is to you, this is a major metropolis and deliveries to stores, homes, and even of children to houses and schools will necessitate that bike lanes will have vehicles parked in them. 

    The crap that was foisted on NYC under the DOT-nazi has not made for safer conditions for drivers and people are still getting killed. I think that happened even in the days of the horse and buggy. If you want an accident-free environment, move to a hippy-dippy commune in Oregon.
  • Without commenting on the back and forth that is occurring above, I think we can all agree that this guy is taking speeding cars a little too seriously:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=139857653486
  • That was awesome!

    That would probably be an effective deterrent against speeding (as long as innocent bystanders don't get hurt in the process).
  • It seems the NYPD is clearly putting more attention to enforcing existing traffic laws: