The Department of Transportation passed over the neighborhood for traffic calming in 2011, but pressure is on to do it now

Slopers: How can we be calm at a time like this?

The Brooklyn Paper
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The city snubbed Park Slope’s request for traffic-slowing measures in 2011, but it might reconsider now that pressure is mounting from neighbors, an official said after a meeting to brainstorm ways to make streets safer on Tuesday night.

Hundreds of Slopers gathered at the Park Slope United Methodist Church to pool road safety ideas a week and a half after activists symbolically lowered the speed limit along Prospect Park West to 20-miles-per-hour with un-sanctioned signs and two months after a 12-year-old was killed on that street by a van. A Department of Transportation official in attendance did not respond to attendees’ demands to lower speed limits, but he did allow to a reporter that the neighborhood might be a good fit for the so-called “Slow Zone” designation the department denied two years ago.

“It’s something done in other neighborhoods that we’re planning to do — it’s something that would be a potential in Park Slope in the future,” said Christopher Hrones, the department’s Downtown Brooklyn transportation coordinator, about the program that would bring 20-mile-per-hour speed limits, speed humps, and other traffic calming measures.

Three Park Slope civic groups and two community boards submitted the 2011 application to make the whole neighborhood a car chill-out sector, but street planners passed it over because the neighborhood logged relatively few auto-crash deaths and injuries, according to Eric McClure, co-founder of Park Slope Neighbors, one of the groups behind the failed bid. The coalition did not reapply in 2012 because of a huge waiting list, he said, and this October the city announced 15 new Slow Zones to be set up over the next three years, meaning that the earliest Park Slope could be considered again would be 2016.

“We’re a bit dishearten­ed,” McClure said. “I’m not sure how the next process will work, but we will work very closely with our elected officials, the Department of Transportation, and other stakeholders to try to make that happen for this neighborho­od.”

The Tuesday meeting drew impassioned testimony about why the city cannot wait to slow down car traffic, including words from the parents of Sammy Cohen Eckstein, the boy killed when he ventured onto Prospect Park West to retrieve a soccer ball and tripped in front of a van, according to his mother.

“Clearly, more needs to be done now,” said Amy Cohen, Cohen Eckstein’s mother, in a tearful speech, calling for lower speed limits and citing data that shows reduced velocities save lives in crashes.

Police do not suspect speeding to have been a factor in the crash that took Cohen Eckstein’s life, the New York Post reported, and the investigation is closed and no criminal charges have been filed, according to Cohen.

Public advocate-elect Letitia James pledged to stay on Sloper and Mayor-elect DeBlasio’s case about the importance of traffic calming in the coming year.

“To Samuel’s parents and Sammy, may his death not go in vain,” James said.

Others called on police to increase the number of cops watching for drivers speeding and failing to yield to pedestrians. Park Slope’s 78th Precinct logged no speeding tickets in September and just 16 in October, according to police statistics.

The precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Michael Ameri, took to the podium to pledge to work with the community to make roads safer, but later told attendees that targeting speeders would take more cops specifically dedicated to the task.

“The average police officer driving around the neighborhood cannot just issue a speeding summons,” Ameri said, explaining that such a post would require taking the cop off the beat and giving him or her special training and a radar gun. “You can’t just arbitrarily say, ‘He’s speeding,’ and pull [a driver] over.”

The solutions offered by attendees differed, but the message of the meeting was clear: pedestrians and cyclists in Park Slope are sick of having close calls with cars.

“I’ve had numerous situations with me and my kids where we’ve almost been hit, and all you’re left with is a feeling of rage,” said Slope mom Karen Fuller.

Updated 12:26 pm, December 4, 2013: Added quotes from Letitia James and Michael Ameri. Updated meeting attendance figure to remedy an editing error.
Reach reporter Megan Riesz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
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Reasonable discourse

Other Michael from Park Slope says:
It might be technologically difficult to enforce any speed limit on residential streets but keeping drivers from rolling through red lights would be easy.

I live near the corner of 8th and Union and nearly every time the light changes a car or truck goes through the red. A pair of police officers could give out tickets all day long. There are many intersection like this all over Park Slope and the 78th Precinct.

If drivers knew that they might get a ticket for going through the reds they might stop doing it.
Dec. 4, 2013, 7:42 am
Karen Fuller from Park Slope says:
The part of my comment above that didn't get included was that I would like to see better driver education about pedestrians' right of way at crosswalks, (it is the law in NY State) and police enforcement of this, including many well-orchestrated sting operations. I also agree with reducing the speed limit and after seeing the film on "Twenty is plenty" for residential neighborhoods in Great Britain, I'm totally on board. We need to prioritize safety (of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists) above ALL else and create liveable, safe, child-friendly neighborhoods. As Eric Adams (Borough President-Elect) said in the film, it is nothing less than a complete "paradigm shift."
Dec. 4, 2013, 8:46 am
LS says:
At the end of the meeting City Councilperson Brad Lander led the meeting participants to take a pledge to agree to drive 20 mph now in Park Slope. The hope is that all concerned citizens can start now to slow things down in this neighborhood and eventually it could spread to all residential districts in NYC. All New Yorkers deserve safe streets!
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:19 am
Stu from PPW says:
There were over 200 people there.
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:20 am
Anonymous Neighbor from Park Slope says:
While I have deep sympathy for the family that lost their child on PPW, why have they become the poster children for a slower speed limit? Their child was not killed by a speeder or a reckless driver. The person driving the car that horribly killed their child was not speeding and stayed on the scene. According to the child's mother, the child fell. Yet, their sad notoriety is being used for this topic and they have been all over speaking about lowering the speed limit.

Can we discuss the numerous people who cross against the light? The numerous people who cross in the middle of the streets? The people who walk directly behind a moving car while the driver is trying to legally park? The amount of people who day in and day out do not hold their children's hands while crossing the street? The amount of young children (under 4), who are seen straggling way behind their parents while crossing busy intersections and some of those children are on scooters or balance bikes while doing so? While I am against speeding of course, I think these other issues also need to be addressed but never are.

To the people who say drivers do not get tickets in this neighborhood, they must not drive. Tickets are given out constantly for running red lights, illegal u-turns, and turning where you should not. The new no left turns on 4th Avenue have taken many people by surprise and many people have received tickets for it.

Please do not take this as advocating for speeding, it is not. But, while drivers need to be educated, pedestrians do also.
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:35 am
P from Slope says:
Yes. This attendance estimate is too low by half.
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:36 am
P from Slope says:

There have been a few dozen people killed or hit ON SIDEWALKS this year. Tell me, what kind of education should we give pedestrians to avoid that kind of crash?
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:37 am
P from Slope says:
And the stats tell a different story.

91 illegal u-turn tickets all year! 17 improper turning tickets last month!

Drivers are not getting ticketed in big numbers around here.
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:41 am
ty from pps says:
Seriously, Anonymous... Your definition of "all the time" is a bit absurd. The actual number of tickets issues for traffic violations (of any kind) in any precinct in Brooklyn is FAAAAARRR from "all the time." It's closer to barely at all.
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:47 am
Adamben from Bedstuy says:
I drive and I drive slow. The biggest problem I see is people jay walking. Against the light, mid block... you name it. This isn't the uws, people. I'm surprised more people don't get hurt considering that in the rest of Bklyn drivers are insane (we don't even cross the st with the signs and lights with us because some dope, or cop, barrels through). I've had pedestrians thank me for stopping! Park slope? The pedestrians make it unsafe For themselves, for the most part.
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:58 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
The meeting last night was energizing. Brad Lander and his team have once again shown what our city government could be. It was also very encouraging that Tish James, Public Advocate-elect, made time to attend a meeting on Street Safety in Park Slope when her new job encompasses the entire city. I was less thrilled that Eric Adams, Borough President-elect, did not attend, but his purview encompasses the entire borough so slack must be cut.

It should be publicly pointed out, though, that the state politicians whose districts are here, and nowhere but here, could not be bothered to show up and hear the concerns of their constituents. Sending an aide does not constitute support. Then again, what good does any politician in Albany do? Our children in New York City are being run down, and instead of doing something about it they think it makes them appear butch to flip all of us the bird. Instead of showing up to converse with the people who pay their salaries, they phone it in by sending Skippy the office mascot. Jim Brennan in particular had better get a serious clue, instantly, because his opposition to safer streets (demonstrated by his opposition to the PPW bike lane that a super-majority of the district supports), will end his political career; that space was packed with determined parents and neighbors last night, and I suspect they will not stop until there are zero traffic deaths in NYC. God help any politician who stands in the way of that.
Dec. 4, 2013, 10:09 am
jooltman from Park Slope says:
Please contribute to this crowdsourced map to identify street safety issues in Park Slope:
Dec. 4, 2013, 10:11 am
Jabir from Park Slope says:
@Anonymous Neighbor, if the van that struck the child had been traveling 20mph instead of 30mph, it's highly likely he would still be with us.
Dec. 4, 2013, 10:15 am
bkmanhat from neubrokelyn says:
Speed limits is the least expensive deterrent and its a start. But speed bumps and bike lanes will help automobile drivers to force them to slow down.
Dec. 4, 2013, 10:16 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
Adamben, if the point A and point B in your journey are in NYC, you have no business driving unless you're transporting an elderly relative, car full of kids, or a couch you bought off Craig's list. We have an excellent public transportation system, and an increasingly robust bike lane network. Laziness does not qualify as a reason to drive instead. Second, if you must drive, you must hold your speed to 20mph in residential neighborhoods. Our kids live here, your kids live where you are. Just because my route transects your neighborhood, does that give me any right to blast through it like the lives of your kids don't matter? (Hint: the answer is NO) So stop pushing the burden of responsibility onto children and families navigating the neighborhoods where they live, when it is the Jehus who, out of recklessness, sociopathy, or misplaced machismo, are committing vehicular manslaughter. In NYC the era of the car is over. The era of humans is here.
Dec. 4, 2013, 10:23 am
20 is Plenty from Park Slope says:
Anonymous Neighbor:
Even if the van driver was not speeding under the current 30 mile per hour speed limit - had the speed limit been lower and the driver obeying it, the collision could have been avoided or the injuries reduced. That is the point of advocating a lower speed limit.
Dec. 4, 2013, 10:27 am
John D from Park Slope says:
the 20-MPH Pledge is great...yet easily forgotten.

How about a sticker or clear clingie for the dashboard of all pledge-takers to remind them every time they climb in behind the wheel?
Dec. 4, 2013, 10:37 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
bkmanhat, I agree. physical modifications to the streets are the best way to ensure safe driving speeds. Make it damaging to speed, and speeders will relent. We all deserve a livable city, and livable neighborhoods. No more excuses. We want it now. Not one more child can die to satisfy some jackass's need to speed. Enough. Really, enough.
Dec. 4, 2013, 10:37 am
Adrian from Park Slope says:
Anonymous Neighbour: your comment makes no sense. This driver killed a kid whilst travelling at a legal speed, thus we shouldn't reduce that speed limit to a safer level to reduce the chance of a "legal" death happening in the future?

You can whine about jaywalking all you like (and it is indeed annoying), but jaywalking doesn't kill innocent bystanders. Drivers do, and currently they do it with almost 100% impunity, even when breaking the law.

All people want is safe spaces for their families to live, and prosecution of the drivers who break the law and put 3rd parties in unnecessary danger. The only downside is that the average car journey might take a little longer. But really, as a poster above noted, there are very few reasons why it is ever necessary to drive in NYC given the public transport or walking/biking options available.
Dec. 4, 2013, 10:48 am
Adrian from Park Slope says:
I would also argue that the 20mph pledge isn't that useful without physical road modifications. We've all seen the idiots who think nothing of overtaking on residential streets if they deem you're going to slowly, and this could exacerbate that problem...
Dec. 4, 2013, 10:50 am
Skippy says:
Scott, I find your comment insulting.
Dec. 4, 2013, 11:21 am
ty from pps says:
Just an anecdote from today....

I drove to work this morning. I decided to not exceed 25 mph. In my short (2 mile) drive on all residential streets, 3 different cars were behind me at different points. ALL 3 came up on me very quickly (probably 40 mph) and tailgated me aggressively until I or they turned and could drive much faster. There were many all-way stop signs along the way. 2 of the 3 cars proceeding through the intersection WITH me -- i.e., only I stopped, they did not. The 3rd car actually stopped. My last major intersection was crossing Ocean Parkway where I witnessed 2 cars blow through a stale red light... I always give that intersection an extra 5-count before proceeding.

This experience was pretty tame compared to other behavior I experience far too regularly.

THIS is the reality. Not some B.S. about how horribly misbehaved the freaking pedestrians are. As far as the 3 drivers following me this morning, there are no pedestrians. Just them in a steel box and obstacles to get past.
Dec. 4, 2013, 11:39 am
Karen Fuller from Park Slope says:
Anonymous: There are two issues here - one is the driver's failure to yield to a pedestrian in the intersection. Let's be clear - the law doesn't specify whether the walk light is blinking red before it goes red. So technically, the child who was killed had the "right of way" by law. Secondly, had the driver been going very slowly, he would been able to stop after he saw the ball (which he did). The point here is SAFETY for all. We have children near parks and schools and need to prioritize safety and liveability in our neighborhoods. This is no longer about who is right and who is wrong; this is about creating a more humane interaction between drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. The driver as king of the road mentality with little impunity and responsibility for others' safety needs to end. All around safety education is also a good idea.
Dec. 4, 2013, 11:53 am
Anonymous Neighbor from Park Slope says:
Yet, everything is being thrown at the drivers and not one instance where pedestrians are being asked to behave better in the streets or to be better educated.

One person above just said people should not be driving at all, ever unless they are transporting something heavy or elderly people. he basically wants all cars banned.

now, I understand lowering the speed limit would help people not die, but drivers are not the only ones who need to be educated. If I had hit the woman who walked behind my car last week while I was trying to park (and since I was parking, i was going about 5 miles an hour), she would have sued the life out of me and I would have been branded a terrible person because I drive. Yet, when I asked why in the world would she walk behind a moving car, her response was "because I felt like it".

So, yes, I know there are accidents, I know people die, but, pedestrians also need to be made aware of things.
Dec. 4, 2013, 12:32 pm
Anonymous Neighbor from Park Slope says:
A few dozen people killed on sidewalks? I know that one story from Queens where apparently the person lost control of their car. not sure if they were speeding or there was a mechanical mishap. but, I must have missed the "dozens" killed.

Again, I am not saying I am against lowering the speed limit, but, there needs to be other measures taken also which people seem to refuse to believe. The only answer coming out of here is "throw all cars away".
Dec. 4, 2013, 12:36 pm
Adrian from Park Slope says:
Woah, you literally must have been panicked for ages about not hitting that pedestrian, and her not suing you for the injuries that she didn't sustain. Meanwhile, 4 pedestrians died from being hit by vehicles in the space of 30minutes last Wednesday.

Pedestrians may do stupid things, but the consequence of them doing stupid things is entirely their own risk, no-one else's. That is not the case when you're in car, heavily protected from the outside world, doing dangerously high speeds in residential neighbourhoods.
Dec. 4, 2013, 12:45 pm
Adrian from Park Slope says:
And for NYC traffic death stats, probably best you read up on it so you can see how much of a problem it is. Around 200 people killed so far this year, and it's the leading cause of injury-related death for children in the city. But it's ok, because most of them were probably doing stupid things...
Dec. 4, 2013, 12:56 pm
P from Slope says:
Reading comprehension:

"There have been a few dozen people killed or hit ON SIDEWALKS this year. Tell me, what kind of education should we give pedestrians to avoid that kind of crash?"

Five kids were hit in one incident in Queens. Lucian Merry Weather was killed in Ft Greene. A woman was killed in Brooklyn Heights. An SUV jumped the curb and crashed into scaffolding near borough hall. There have been more than a few taxis that have jumped curbs in Manhattan. And many many more instances across the city.

Again, "killed or hit" was what I wrote.

When you're splitting hairs, anonymous, it's obvious your argument is worthless.
Dec. 4, 2013, 1:28 pm
Anonymous Neighbor says:
I just love how my words are just being twisted and ignored.

Yes, cars kill, yes, cars speed, yes, a lot of drivers are morons out there. No one is disputing that. But, other people besides motorists need to be educated. Pedestrians do stupid things every single day that get themselves killed and/or hurt. I am only saying that there needs to be more education all around.

Now, since no one seems to care to look at any other view other than "get rid of all cars", i will leave this conversation.
Dec. 4, 2013, 1:41 pm
Anonymouser from Brooklyn says:
Over 50% of pedestrians who are hit are hit in the crosswalk with the right of way.

Anonymous seems to have a lot invested in proving that pedestrians are a bigger problem than they really are.
Dec. 4, 2013, 1:44 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Ty knows everything!
Dec. 4, 2013, 2:08 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Thank you in advance for pardoning the suggestion of one man-John Wasserman. Please try to keep up:
Gates. Wooden gates that are placed strategically along the streets. You may find you are already aware of these, as we now use them so that cars and trucks stop to let the train pass. But what if we were to use them on our streets (if you don't mind my asking)? When was the last time you saw a car or truck crash through a train gate? Never? Your own John Wasserman has seen a lot in his time of life, but I've seen it ONCE (and it was rules a suicide since it was crushed by the train).
Now comes the brilliant part:
Gates for bike lanes, set up in the same manner, and thirdly:
Gates for the pedestrians, perpendicular to the above stated gates. How could this fail, if you'll pardon my question?
Thanks for reading. John Wasserman.
Dec. 4, 2013, 3:08 pm
Jim Mintzer from Park Slope says:
I'm sorry I couldn't be there, but I'm taking the 20mph pledge too. First aggressive driver to honk at me will force me to reduce my speed to 15mph.
Dec. 4, 2013, 3:27 pm
ty from pps says:
Have I said something to offend you, Rufus? Does this article bother you because it doesn't mention how hipsters are destroying the world or something else that fits your dimwitted narrative?

(My comment at 9:47 was a statement of fact. And my comment at 11:39 was a personal anecdote describing what I see on a daily basis in my neighborhood.)
Dec. 4, 2013, 3:39 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Keep in mind that part where it talks about that accident mentions that the motorist that hit that child wasn't believed to be speeding. Going by that quote, it can be interpreted that he was obeying the speed limit. However, why was that child not looking let alone his parents not paying attention to what was happening? In the end, the motorist that hit him was declared not being solely responsible for his actions. For those who don't know, saying that someone isn't solely responsible for what they have done is NOT the same to not being responsible for what they done. Nevertheless, I don't see how lowering the speed limits will really help when you can get hit even by someone who wasn't even speeding to begin with. I do agree with this "Anonymous Neighbor" on what he or she has to say about pedestrians who don't follow as with cyclists as well. If enforcement is so important, than all groups should follow it, not just one group only. The anti-car crowd just has no moral legitimacy on their claim, and lowering the speed limits really does nothing when the enforcement is hardly there to begin with. In other words, practice what you preach before you start telling others what to do. Although pedestrians and cyclists flouting laws don't kill much, this does place them into harm's way, which will make them martyrs on anti-car websites such as Streetsblog, which I find to be nothing more than an exploitation of that said person.
Dec. 4, 2013, 5:06 pm
Adrian from Park Slope says:
Nice attempt to portray Sam as deserving of his death. He entered the road with the light in his favor, but as he tried to exit the road, he slipped into the path of the vehicle.

This is really very easy to understand, and is not about victimising drivers. The car driver was driving within the speed limit, but was still driving at a speed that was sufficient for him to not be able to react in time after seeing the boy in the road, and sufficient to kill that boy upon collision. If you lower the speed limit, that law abiding driver will have more time to react to prevent any collision, and will be less likely to kill the boy even if the collision still happens. Enforcement is a massive issue, but not relevant to this specific case.

Nobody disagrees that pedestrians and cyclists sometimes make mistakes and do stupid things, we all do. The point is that:
1) in around 50% of cases (according to DoT data) the pedestrian victim is entirely blameless, so your victim blaming doesn't work so well in these cases
2)when pedestrians/cyclists do stupid things they are largely only a danger to themselves; and
3) doing stupid things shouldn't lead to death anywhere near as often as it does, and the best way to reduce that death rate is to lower the legal speed limit for the vehicles which causes the deaths
Dec. 4, 2013, 5:35 pm
jay from nyc says:
ah good the Tal-bot showed up finally and posted almost the same thing he posted yesterday and last week.
Dec. 4, 2013, 6:38 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Adrian, nobody who is against lowering the speed limits has said that Sam deserved his death. Also, just because I happen to oppose it, doesn't mean that I support such events like this either. The problem with the anti-car crowd is their black and white views on claiming that everyone is either with them or against, which is why they can't get anyone on the fence. I do suggest looking at the causes rather than the effects for once, and you will see how that driver wasn't behaving in a negligible manor, which is the cause. Perhaps understanding the causes will give a better understanding of what really happened just like how Israel either responds to terrorist attacks by Hamas or Hezbollah or even when being threatened by Iran when it comes to having a nuclear bomb. Unfortunately, if the cause isn't in your favor, you feel that you have to use the effects only. I can still remember that the Daily News had a recent article on this very issue and most of the comments to that article were highly against it, and even claimed that bike zealots had absolutely no credibility. Again, pedestrian and cyclists might not be able to kill anyone, but they are placing themselves into harm's way. More importantly, saying that someone isn't solely responsible for their actions isn't the same as saying that they are not responsible for their actions.
Dec. 4, 2013, 6:53 pm
Adrian from Park Slope says:
Again you go with the "placing themselves in harm's way", despite me raising the point that 50% of pedestrians who are killed have done no such thing.

"Most people are not "anti car", because most people drive one. They are simply clever enough to understand that lots of fast moving traffic in a dense urban environment CAUSES lots of deaths. Whether anyone is acting illegally at not, lots of deaths is not a good result. The best way to reduce those deaths, is to reduce the speed of the vehicles causing the deaths. This is not victimisation of car drivers, it's simply the most rationale response to the problem. Other countries have managed it, and guess what? They've seen a large reduction in traffic fatalities. This should go hand in hand with law enforcement (yes of all road users, not just car drivers).

Nice bizarre reference to Israel by the way.
Dec. 4, 2013, 7:29 pm
ty from pps says:
I wish restrain myself... but it's soooooo friggin' hard. I mean... oh lordy...
Dec. 4, 2013, 8:59 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
He entered the road with the light in his favor, but as he tried to exit the road, he slipped into the path of the vehicle.

seems he did not have the light in his favor after he fell in moving traffic
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:27 pm
BKDUDE64 says:
Tal HELP!!
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:33 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
Scott from Park Slope says:

Adamben, if the point A and point B in your journey are in NYC, you have no business driving unless you're transporting an elderly relative, car full of kids, or a couch you bought off Craig's list

Have you thought of putting up a laugh track - truly one of the dumbest posts - hey I drive and park my car wherever I please as long s it is legal of course- move a couch in a car and see how far you get unless it is for your doll house - oops I mean miniatures collection.

W were reading this at work and howling - keep up the good work - you are the Milton Berle of the slope.
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:40 pm
Jym from PLG says:
This was a productive meeting. Why the Sturm und Drang?
Dec. 5, 2013, 4:57 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
old time brooklyn, the back seats in my Honda FIT fold flat and can accommodate a love seat. Did it last weekend. Telling how your mind and those of your cohorts went to dollhouses, though; A window into the secret life of old time brooklyn?

There are legitimate reasons to drive in the city. There are legitimate reasons to own a car. Most trips in the city, however, are perfectly met by walking, biking, or public transportation. Everyone ought to heavily skew the choice toward those options. And if in a given situation, such as transporting your elderly aunt who uses a walker to her senior center, driving makes the most sense, then 20mph must be the fastest you drive, and the utmost attention must be paid when driving on local streets. If you need or want to drive faster than that, the BQE or LIE are the places for it. Laziness, machismo, hatred of hipsters & other Americans, and a general sense of entitlement do not satisfy the requirement because our kids are dying for it.

Gloss over that, but before you do as an American and father I say you walk up to the Cohen-Ecksteins and say it to their faces. Tell them your right to barrel around in your SUV trumps their son's right to live.
Dec. 5, 2013, 6:52 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
I agree with Adrian. Blaming the victims of these crashes is senseless. They're kids. They make even more mistakes than adults do when walking and biking. Drivers moving through neighborhoods as chock full of children as Park Slope must take that into account. But it's not enough to make Park Slope a slow island in a sea of speed. The whole city must lower vehicle speeds on local roads to 20mph. NYC is not, say, Houston; our population density, 27K/sq. mi, is nine times Houston's 3.6K/sq. mi. 30mph here is not scaled to that reality.
Dec. 5, 2013, 7:06 am
trans alt from My bike says:
No one should be allowed to drive in nyc, except for Scott from Slope. Give up your car you flaming hypocrite.
Dec. 5, 2013, 12:05 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
For the record, nobody who was opposed to lowering the speed limit was blaming the victim nor saying that he deserved to be killed, just the anti-car crowd said that. The truth is that we motorists can follow every letter of the law, while the rest of you pedestrians and cyclists will never do that. This is what I mean by going into harm's way. Believer it or not, most of those that were hit by motor vehicles were doing such that. Again, I said that driver who hit Sam was NOT solely responsible for his actions, which means he did carry some of the blame, but not all of it, and the rest of the blame goes to his parents for NOT looking out for him when he was crossing the street. Until the rest of you start following the rules yourselves, you have absolutely no moral legitimacy in your say. It makes you like a parent telling your child not to smoke despite the fact that your are smoking yourself in claiming that when you mentioned that it was bad for your health, you were really referring to everyone but your own hence the double standard. In reality, there will never be any safe streets until all groups follow the rules. As for the Israel reference, I only mentioned it as an example to where those that are against them only talk about the effects rather than the causes, which is why there is such a bias against that. Then again, trying to explain what really goes on to the anti-car crowd is sort of like trying to get the Muslim Brotherhood to accept Israel as a Jewish State, and if you actually follow that, you would know what this analogy means.
Dec. 5, 2013, 3:36 pm
scott from park slope says:
Trans alt, my wife and I commute to work by bike. it's faster and saves a lot of money with year-on-year fare rises from the MTA. Also, we have both lost a lot of weight. win, win, win. there are times with our toddlers, however, with all their equipment, that a car makes the most sense. (And we started out with zipcar). Note, I did not say at any point that no one ought to drive, ever. I self-identified as a Brooklynite who uses all modes of travel and acknowledges there is a time and place for each. I did advocate strongly for everyone to choose cars last, and still do. Cars kill.

Above all else I relish parsimony, ie. choose the right tool for the job and no more. hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another. I say what I mean and mean what I say. if you are a trans alt member who has not yet discovered a use-case for car ownership, I applaud you. but I submit for consideration that your life path may not have made it apparent that there are legit reasons to drive, but that does not mean such a use-case does not exist.
Dec. 6, 2013, 1:04 am
scott from park slope says:
Skippy, apologies. I am an insensitive clod. :-)
Dec. 6, 2013, 1:07 am
S from PPW says:
I belong to TA and own a car. It's about having choices and using them sensibly.
Dec. 6, 2013, 9:52 am
Mustache Pete from Fort Greene says:
Ty, I want to compliment you for your admirable restraint in the face of the latest rehashed Tal comments.
Dec. 6, 2013, 11:45 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Stop the personal attacks Mustache Pete. They are nothing less than the conduct of a coward. Same thing to post by a psuedonym instead of your real name, unless your reel name is Moustache Pete. To quote Confucius, "Respect is something one must, not demand." In other words, you bike zealots just didn't win my respect especially with the attitude so many of you tend to display. If you really want the rules to change then start complying to them no matter how pointless or absurd they happen to be. Then and only then can they be changed. Right now, you guys are in no position to act that way, or your support won't be good among those that could be on the fence. I do tend to see websites such as Streetsblog like the Electronic Intifada especially when they don't listen to reason have numerous members there making personal attacks at anyone who doesn't side with them. For the record, I have tried to give cyclists the benefit of the doubt, but their actions tend to make me feel otherwise. The only reason why there may not be a lot of pedestrians hit by bicycles is because many of them either go unreported or the cyclist got away before anyone came to the scene. Nobody hates cyclists as a whole, just the way they tend to act. I take it neither of you have never studied Western Philosophy in college. The result is that if Ty and Moustache Pete can't undebunk me, they demand that my statements be censored, and threaten me to stay out of the city, which is a hit way below the belt, even for the likes of you guys. The fact that I view some pedestrians and cyclists and zealots, assuming you know what that word actually means, is my view, while you saying it on motorists is your view. This even comes to an old saying about those who can't seem to have a real debate, "If you can't stand the heat, then got of the kitchen." Seeing that you resort to personal attacks shows how much you can't seem to make a debate as well. Bottom line, not all streets are meant for pedestrians and bicycles especially if they are used constantly by trucks, which is going into harm's way for them going there.
Dec. 6, 2013, 1:24 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:

Pardon the language, but let's just cut the malarkey here for just a moment, if you don't mind. There seems to be a lot of personal attack/hateraid drinking around here lately. I think you'll agree. These zealots see it one way, and the morons (for lack of a better term) see it another. Obviously Ty and this Pistachio Pete character haven't read much Western Philosophy, where on the other hand the morons threaten so actually move to Brooklyn. How do we get along, if you don't mind my asking? Ringo Star said "All We Are Wanting/To Give Peace A Chance".
This is America, darn it (pardon the language, but I'm upset)!
John Wasserman/Prospect Heights resident/Patriot
Dec. 6, 2013, 4:29 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First of all, I was out of the house for the most of the day, so that comment had to be someone, and I know who the suspects are. Seriously, lowering will the speed limits will hardly do anything to make the streets safer, because it will either hardly ever be enforced or there will always be pedestrians and cyclists that will get hit after even placing themselves into harm's way. As for those stats, keep in mind that some groups have a history of fudging data, which does throw some of it into question, while they only state the effects rather than the causes. When talking about giving tickets, motorists actually got a lot more than most cyclists and pedestrians combined, and a lot of them are for even minor violations that to can result in points or a suspended license not to mention being very high in fines that I find has taking it out to the little guy. I think that a lot of cyclists and pedestrians are known for constantly flouting the laws, because they know that for the most part they can either get away with it or just get a slap on the wrist even if they did get caught. In the end, it's us motorists who get the royal screw job as we are considered the cash cow. On a side note, the Daily News had an article about this issue recently, and most of the comments to that very article were against the idea of lowering the speed limit.
Dec. 6, 2013, 6:25 pm
Mustache Pete from Fort Greene says:
No haterade here. I honestly can't tell who the real Tal or the satirical one is anymore. Either way, he's good for the occasional laugh. That's especially welcome when I need relief from my Western Philosophy studies, or plotting with Hezbollah to run over innocent pedestrians in Brownstone Brooklyn.

Actually, we were thinking of moving our next flouting of vehicular laws and to the lovely hamlet of Pleasantville, NY
Dec. 6, 2013, 10:08 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
old time brooklyn, the back seats in my Honda FIT fold flat and can accommodate a love seat. Did it last weekend. Telling how your mind and those of your cohorts went to dollhouses, though; A window into the secret life of old time brooklyn?

My wife has a miniatures business on the side so snark yourself.

Gloss over that, but before you do as an American and father I say you walk up to the Cohen-Ecksteins and say it to their faces. Tell them your right to barrel around in your SUV trumps their son's right to live.

Sure thing - at least I am not a bigoted pompous corn hole.

BTW you have no need at all to defend yourself to the alt trans people

Kids run into the street and unfortuneately accidents happen. BTW I do not have an SuV - I have two Toyotas - one here and the other at me country eta.
Dec. 7, 2013, 10:32 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
If Sam's parents were looking at him as well as paying attention, the accident would have been avoided and he would still be alive. As usual, the anti-car crowd blows it all out of proportion and ignores the causes especially when they are not in their favor. Seriously, we can have all motor vehicles driving at 1 MPH and kids will still get hit just for not looking to cross or their parents not being there with them. I feel that Transportation Alternatives, Streetsblog, and all other anti-car groups have sunk to a new low, but that's usually their style anyway seeing how much they hate cars so much. On a side note, I don't drive an SUV either, I drive a Honda Civic, which is a compact car, which debunks your claim on me as always.
Dec. 7, 2013, 6:03 pm
Mustache Pete from Fort Greene says:
Better put on your tin foil hat and hide, Tal -- I hear that Hezbollah is looking for you.
Dec. 13, 2013, 11:09 am
NS from Queens NY says:
Now that Vision Zero has been implemented and we're all getting countless tickets in the mail for "speeding" while driving at safe speeds, I wonder if any of these idiots regret backing this?
March 16, 2016, 1:33 pm

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