TRAGEDY ON WEST END AVENUE: 61-YEAR-OLD WOMAN KILLED IN COLLISION

A 61-year-old woman was hit by a motorist and killed today while crossing the street at 95th street and West End Avenue, according to Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal’s office.

Rosenthal said she was hit at 1 p.m., but an account in the Post puts the time of the crash at around 11 a.m.

“The unidentified, 60-something woman was crossing the street at West 95th Street and West End Avenue about 11 a.m. when she was struck by a black Ford Expedition driven by an unidentified man in his 50s.The victim was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital where she was in critical condition with serious head and other injuries, police said.

The driver was heading east on West 95th and was making a left turn to head north on West End Avenue when he struck the woman as she was crossing, police said.”

Update: The Daily News identifies the woman as Jean Chambers, an Upper West Sider who lived on Riverside Drive. Witnesses told the newspaper that the driver was turning left onto West End from 95th and that Chambers was talking on her cellphone at the time of the crash. She was dragged for nearly half a block, a witness said. Charges against the driver are pending. He stayed at the scene after the crash.

Rosenthal’s statement is below:

“This is an unspeakable tragedy, and I grieve for the victim and her loved ones. Furthermore, this is a preventable tragedy, and another case where caution on the driver’s part would have saved a life. This is the fourth deadly pedestrian collision in a two-block radius of the Upper West Side this year, and it is four too many. I renew my call to my New York State colleagues to extend Cooper’s Law to all drivers. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and we must do whatever we can to put a stop to reckless driving.”

We are working on getting more information about the crash.

NEWS | 77 comments | permalink
    1. J says:

      Wow. Based on these facts, I can’t think of a way that this accident could have occurred without massive negligence by the driver. I hope Ms. Chambers gets some sort of justice.

      That being said, Councilmember Rosenthal’s grandstanding on this stuff seems a little distasteful. She’s simply not going to pass a state law on this issue, and she knows it. I get that she’s got the anti-car crew chirping in her ear all the time, and they kind of own her at this point, but I wish she’d really start to focus on real, nuts-and-bolts issues where she can make a positive quality of life difference in our neighborhood.

      • Bill says:

        I totally agree with J above, but we cannot ignore the other piece of this tragedy … the woman was talking on her cell phone. I am consistently amazed at how this new technology has numbed the common sense out of pedestrians. Over the years, I have personally watched several “mothers” push their strollers into directly oncoming traffic while talking or texting … and then fly into a rage at the “stupid” driver. Both sides are at fault here. (Incidentally … as of 5:15pm, the DNA site says that the women did not survive. I am sorry to hear that.)

        • Craig Sherman says:

          Are you for real? If (and I acknowledge a giant if until we know for 100%) she was walking with the light, her being on her phone would have had NOTHING to do with this! Come on! Take your agenda elsewhere!

          • NikFromNYC says:

            Relying on a light with no regard for situational awareness is a much bigger responsibility fail for a vulnerable pedestrian in a real instead of ideal world. That the driver isn’t expected to be charged with a crime strongly suggests jaywalking if not full on accidental darting out into moving traffic.

            That said if I was an artist of any type, and I am, I would very much want my work shown along with reports of my tragic death, so get on it West Side Rag.

            Also, the solution to this isn’t to destroy the lives of everyday harried drivers who may make everyday dumb mistakes as we all do in every aspect of ours lives. Better than criminalizing mistakes is to add a technological layer to the intersections, cars and especially smart phones to alert drivers and pedestrians to danger. Please think inventively instead of punitively if you really want to change outcomes rather than just try to make hitting a jaywalker a manslaughter felony in a neighborhood full of speed bumps and a ridiculously low speed limit. Just as bicycle helmets and big SUVs can have significant ironic effects of creating less careful behavior, so too does a law and order view of the world in which pedestrians feel like they really do have the moral right of way to do what ever they want in a crosswalk. Fund safety entrepreneurs with new ideas, actively. Google’s self driving cars are not the only potential future, especially this decade. Use your UWS clout to push for government funding of new ideas, against more bureaucratic solutions. Is it not the Computer Age?

            • CB says:

              No jaywalking. See the Fox5 video. An incredibly careless turn by the driver, who did not have the right of way. Result: he gets to go on with his life unscathed and a good woman’s family is devastated.

          • Upper West Side Wally says:

            Even though the victim had 100% the right of way and the driver should be charged and jailed to the max, a little ‘defense walking’ never hurt anyone.

      • Rob says:

        “I wish she’d really start to focus on real, nuts-and-bolts issues where she can make a positive quality of life difference in our neighborhood.”

        I think DEATH is a quality of life issue, too. So thankful that Council Member Rosenthal is focused on the issue of traffic safety. Now we need everyone else to focus on it.

    2. Christina says:

      Need more information. I agree that something has to be done about reckless driving and traffic coordination but unfortunately the woman was talking on her cell when she was crossing the street. Pedestrians have to be mindful of their surroundings and what they are doing as well. It’s such a tragedy! Very sad!

      • Suzy says:

        I can’t just let this comment go
        No. It doesn’t make any difference what Ms Chambers was doing. She was crossing the street and a car making a turn hit and killed her. The pedestrian has the absolute right of way in the cross walk. While it’s a good idea to look out for cars who might be breaking the law it’s not her fault that she wasn’t ever vigilant against a crazy driver. These aggressive drivers illegally threatening pedestrians in the roses walks are a menace and must be held accountable.

        • Sam says:

          I disagree with you here. Your are correct that pedestrians have the right of way but that doesn’t mean you should throw all common sense out of the window. We’re taught from a very young age to look both ways before crossing the street. Add in the fact that the victim is an UWS resident and is probably aware of all the fatalities that have happened in the area.

          This is a tragedy but one that may have been avoided if the driver was paying more attention, if the victim wasn’t on her phone, or a combination of the two.

        • Cato says:

          How do you know he was a “crazy driver”? He stayed around after the accident, and by all accounts was pretty upset by it.

          Having the right of way is not an entitlement to walk blindly. Perhaps the driver was making the turn perfectly properly but she, oblivious to the world around her — by choice — just stepped more quickly, or more slowly, as her conversation became more animated and distracted her. No car, particularly one as massive as an SUV, can stop on a dime when a pedestrian, ignoring reality, just keeps going unpredictably.

          Can you please point to a single fact in any report supporting your accusation that the driver was an “aggressive driver[s] illegally threatening pedestrians”?? Or is that nothing more than your own prejudice jumping in?

          • G Gomez says:

            It’s a terrible tragedy, and I’m so sorry she was killed.

            But I also have to agree with those who note that it’s not wise to be chatting on your cell phone while crossing the street, especially in the busy intersections at W. 95th and W. 96th. I notice the driver was making a left turn. That implies he had a green light. Does anyone know? Did the victim have the walk sign when she crossed, or was she walking against the light? It’s a horrible tragedy regardless, but I’m not sure, from the facts I’ve read, that the driver was 100% at fault here. If he ran a red light and swerved around the corner, that’s another story.

            • G Gomez says:

              …and of course, no matter what, the driver should have been looking out for pedestrians. I don’t mean to excuse him in my comment above — I just wondered if she had a walk sign (I haven’t seen anything about that so far). Perhaps the worst thing about a tragedy like this is that it could so easily have been prevented.

            • 95 In The Shade says:

              “I notice the driver was making a left turn. That implies he had a green light. Does anyone know? Did the victim have the walk sign when she crossed, or was she walking against the light?”

              The Daily News story says she had the light.

              “It’s a horrible tragedy regardless, but I’m not sure, from the facts I’ve read, that the driver was 100% at fault here. If he ran a red light and swerved around the corner, that’s another story.”

              Cars at that corner (and others, of course), with pedestrians about to cross, often do just that.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              as per the security camera video, the driver hit her by turning NORTH into the southbound lane. She was looking north for southbound cars.

          • Steve says:

            “Having the right of way is not an entitlement to walk blindly. ”

            Wrong. That is precisely what the right of way entails – that you can actually be legally blind (and deaf for that matter) and be able to cross the street without having some stupid A-hole kill you!

            Shame on you!!

        • Craig Sherman says:

          Agreed Suzy. Sick of people blaming cell phones or other distractions. If you are crossing with the light, you should be able to walk blindfolded (or if you are blind) without having to worry about some a$$ not giving the right of way!

      • Parker says:

        I strongly disagree with this comment as well. The right of way is THE RIGHT OF WAY. The driver failed to yield to a pedestrian. The driver did not exercise caution. The driver is the negligent party – not the victim.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          I agree with Suzy and Parker. the victim had the right of way. Period.

          And how does “J” above know that no state law can be passed. Apparently a law was passed already. Councilwoman Rosenthal said the responsible thing.

          • 9d8b7988045e4953a882 says:

            I agree. The pedestrian had the right of way. I am appalled at the comments trying to blame the victim, because she was on a cell phone.

            I often see motorists speeding off the 95th St exit of the West Side Highway towards West End Ave. The police need to start ticketing these motorists.

            The city needs to redesign the streets in this area to calm traffic and make it safe for pedestrians.

            • Dee says:

              Agreed! The blind, the more frail, crossing with the light should be able to cross without getting killed by distracted, careless, dangerous drivers – period.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          from DNAinfo NY report:

          “She had the walk sign and the light was green for the car too,” doorman Bilbil Loka, 32, said. “But the driver made a very short left turn, going uptown. He dragged her for almost 30 feet, everybody heard her scream” Loka witnessed the accident from his post at 710 West End Avenue.”

        • Soxtory says:

          Well, we see the result. Better to stop or dodge even though you have the right of way.

          • Craig Sherman says:

            How’s the view from their Soxtory? Must be nice to have your 20/20 hindsight. RIGHT OF WAY!!!!! End of discussion!

          • Craig Sherman says:

            How’s the view from there Soxtory? Must be nice to have your 20/20 hindsight. RIGHT OF WAY!!!!! End of discussion!

        • Howard Freeman says:

          Agreed. Right of way is that. Driver failed. Besides, most urbanists feel that cities work better when pedestrians can walk anywhere, even jaywalk! NYC is that and more; we are most efficient when people walk so should bias our laws that way.

          I wish we had congestion pricing. Money talks.

          • Dee says:

            Absolutely! We need to get rid of all these cars in the city. They slow us down when we have to wait for lazy people sitting on their butts to drive by while we are trying to get to where we have to go. Less cars! And, no more free parking on the streets either.

      • D says:

        Doesn’t matter. What was the driver doing? He should have been watching and driving carefully enough so that he didn’t hit someone. People are killed on sidewalks, in crosswalks, paying attention… the fact that this woman was on a cellphone, at least according to NYPD reports, is totally irrelevant. Drivers have the ultimate responsibility. Chambers was in a crosswalk with the light. What driver IN NEW YORK CITY doesn’t expect there to be someone walking across the street?

      • CB says:

        Jean Chambers had the right of way. As someone at another website said, it doesn’t matter if she was carrying a typewriter. The driver is completely at fault. Taking a left into a pedestrian crossing without checking for pedestrians is insane.

        • Steve says:

          I agree with this 100 percent.

          I’m also becoming more and more distraught, and more angry, that the immediate reaction from so many people is to blame the victim.

          The victim talking on a cell phone — if that’s even what happened — is NOT the point. Making a left into pedestrians in the crosswalk is the problem.

          This kind of thing is preventable, but we have to stop callously blaming the people who are killed.

          • Em says:

            Agreed. If she was on her cellphone, at worst she would be like a blind person. Are we now saying it is ok to run over and kill blind people because we can’t wait a few seconds to make a turn towards…..wait for it….a Red Light which is all that is waiting for these insane moronic rivers?

    3. DMH says:

      To me, this is a “real, nuts-and-bolts issue” that matters to the quality of life in this neighborhood.

      Maybe chicanes on the approaches to this deadly intersection would help slow drivers down, and save UWSers’ lives?

      Hope we will get the driver’s name as well. I am so sorry for Jean Chambers’ tragic, unfair death.

      Finally I can’t remember if West Side Rag covered this…. but I felt truly awful to read that the judge on Franklin Reyes’ case pushed for leniency for him, very much against Ariel Russo’s family’s wishes. I just can’t imagine another scenario where a perp stops to kill a 4-year-old girl, attacks and injures her grandmother, while actively fleeing NYPD… and the judge decides the teen “probably feels bad enough already.”

      • DMH says:

        Maybe it didn’t come across in my comment above… I am devastated by this death in our community. My heartfelt sympathy for this immensely sad loss. Her photo is up on the article at DNAinfo and she looks like a wonderful neighbor and friend. I think I’m a little bit in shock that our community is going through this, again, because of inadequate engineering, lax enforcement priorities, reckless driver carelessness. They should throw the book at careless drivers who kill, and failure to yield should mean a $300 ticket EVERY single time. Get these guys (seems like it’s always a guy) off our streets.

      • Jeremy says:

        I think that maybe you’re not familiar with this intersection? 95th coming off the highway is very narrow and has two large speed humps. Traffic is usually pretty tough, as well. I’d be shocked if speed has anything to do with this – it sounds like simply a criminal level of inattention on the driver’s part.

        • DMH says:

          You’re right – I always take the 79th Street exit and I’m less familiar with 95th.

          Heartbreaking to think of this tragic loss.

    4. Jackson says:

      It it has even a cab driver, no charges would be filed

    5. Liane says:

      Drivers coming off the west side highway often speed through the riverside intersection and continue like this his a highway. I never see cops ticketing for speeding or illegal uturns, or talking on cell phone and I see these hints happening everyday on riverside, wear end and surrounding streets. Many commuters think the city is an extension of heir highway and pedestrians and cyclists beware. NYPD enforce the laws when it comes to vehicles which kill and stop blaming the victim!

      • UWS_Guy says:

        In response to Liane I would like to point out that 95th street has a big speed bump mid-block that slows traffic down significantly going east. I’m pretty sure it was installed to protect the kids at PS 75. Obviously it doesn’t stop cars from accelerating once they’ve cleared the speed bump.

    6. Cyrus says:

      It’s just marvelous that you all can dispassionately discuss traffic laws in the face of the tragic loss of Ms Chambers, someone’s wife, mother, sister…Well done, denizens of the West Side Rag. I hope none of you have any close calls on the streets tomorrow so you can safely return to your computer keyboards

    7. MaryJo Farling says:

      I am so saddened over this tragedy. I was struck by a car on 80th and Broadway in 2005 and thankfully lived through it. My heart breaks for the family and friends who lost a loved one. The driver will probably suffer more from remorse than he will from a lawsuit, but that won’t ease the pain the victim’s family is dealing with.

    8. JDUWS says:

      This is tragic and I agree that pedestrians should not always have to be on the lookout for reckless drivers. I saw cars running red lights on Riverside Drive almost every day when I lived there, and forget about trying to safely cross 79th at Riverside. It is infuriating to know that the crosswalks are never completely safe and accidents like this will continue to happen until drivers are held accountable. Where is the enforcement?? Why do we have a plethora of parking meter cops and park police issuing citations for minor violations when motorists are running amok with no consequences?

      • Vince says:

        I offer my condolences to Jean Chambers’ family and friends. It is a terrible tragedy, and I sincerely hope our community can take appropriate action to avoid these accidents.
        I have observed numerous times when left-turning drivers fail to make proper decisions. They look at the oncoming vehicles and fail to watch the crosswalk simultaneously. In an effort to beat the oncoming vehicle, they speed up while making that left turn, but if there’s someone in the crosswalk, it’s usually too late to avoid. I’m not saying this is what happened in this situation, but it might have played a role.

        As a driver, I’m very vigilant of pedestrians, regardless of them being on the phone, picking their noses or scratching their butts. A driver who is approaching an intersection has to
        concentrate on the traffic lights (primary task) as well as to detect potential threats at and
        around the intersection (peripheral detection). Perhaps there should be a green arrow for left turns at this intersection. The light would have remained red for pedestrians using the crosswalk. Anyway, be careful out there.

    9. Helen Murphy says:

      The woman had no business on her cell phone while crossing the street. She should of been more careful and so should all the drivers out there.

      • Steve says:

        This is a contemptible statement. Shame on you.

      • CB says:

        Stop, seriously. Stop blaming the victim. The person at fault here accelerated into a pedestrian crosswalk and dragged her body for half a block. This has ZERO to do with whether or not she was on her phone. It was the SUV driver’s job to check for people in the crosswalk. Clearly he did not do so.

      • CB says:

        Also stop calling her “this woman.” Jean Chambers had a loving family and a wide circle of friends. She was a gentle and exceedingly kind person, and she did not deserve this death.

      • Paul RL says:

        No way. The onus is on me, as a driver of a potentially deadly vehicle to be the more astute one. As a reverse commuter, I drive these streets every day and night but I must still recognize and respect that this is a walking city.

    10. Bob says:

      I am a runner and often get angry about drivers who do not respect the right of way. My heart grieves for this woman’s family. It could have been me. When I recently got upset about runners’ (pedestrians’) rights, a dear friend said to me “the last thing you want on your tombstone is ‘I had the right of way’ ” – there is no blame game, only sadness. Look out for yourself and others – drivers and pedestrians. We must be more aware.

    11. BP says:

      Given the number of fatalities and accidents in this area, the traffic volume involving people, bikers, buses, cars, and trucks needs to be seriously analyzed and addressed because it is simply unsafe. From 95th to 97th Streets and across from Riverside to Amsterdam, the traffic is awful and unruly. The current traffic pattern cannot support the number of people trying to get through this one area. I used to drive through this area every morning and I was so cautious because it is congested and hectic. Pedestrians are trying to cross Broadway when turns signals give right of way to cars, vehicles are blocking crosswalks as they try to inch their way through intersections while people weave through the cars, drivers ignore the no turning rule going east on 96th and then north onto west end, trucks are double parked, and the number of bikers has increased significantly in the last two years. Every morning I used to brace myself and now I just take the streets to 125th Street to enter the Henry Hudson North. I hope local government will reevaluate the current plan. It is slighty better than before but still not as safe as it should be.

    12. Lawrence says:

      Before we all demonize the motorist…let’s ask, what was the traffic signal configuration at the time of the accident?…of course pedestrians always have the right of way in a crosswalk, but was this woman not attentive while talking on her cellphone?…More information is needed before any judgment is passed…

    13. Howard freeman says:

      Sounds like driver was coming off West Side Hwy and trying to get somewhere in midtown quickly.

    14. Ken says:

      While engage in the unseemly debate of who was really at fault, why no discussion of the infrastructure and signal rules that made this tragedy possible in the first place? It’s crazy to allow fast-moving 2,000-pound vehicles to legally compete for the same space with humans on foot, while trusting that drivers will “yield.” And there are ways to redesign intersections to make tragedies like these far less likely. Such fixes were in fact proposed for this very intersection, which had already been identified as dangerous.

      • Em says:

        Thank you! We need red lights for all cars at intersections so that pedestrians can cross safely since drivers in their killing machines decided a long time ago that they will not “yield” to tiny pedestrians and no one is making them or ticketing them.

    15. Armando C says:

      The problem is not with the drivers or the lack of attention people have when walking along the street. The root cause of these constant pedestrian accidents is the overwhelming number of people who are residing in the UWS.

      Developments and high rises continue to be approved and built with no consideration to the infrastructure. Taller buildings get built allowing more residents to flood the streets with their cars; meanwhile, the sidewalks and streets remain the same. Notice how such accidents don’t occur as often in the Times Square Area, where the side walks were widened and pedestrians given more walking space. The UWs is going through the same dilemma that the borough of Queens when through back in the 1990’s when the number of residents in Queens started increasing along Queens Blvd (aks: Ave of death).

      We need a community board to halt the overcrowding of the UWS, which has happened throughout the last 25 years! I firmly believe that NO more approvals should be granted for high rises or new developments in the UWS – our streets, subways, and aging infrastructure is not capable of handling the influx of additional residents!

    16. KG says:

      Absolute tragedy, and my condolences to the family. I think we need more information but I agree with original comment from J, how fast would the SUV have to be coming off the turn for it to take half a block to stop after impact? Was the driver so clueless at the point of impact that he didn’t hit the brakes right away? It’s almost irrelevant in this case if Ms. Chambers was using the phone or not.

    17. speo says:

      The driver dragged the woman half a block?? Sounds like HE may have been on his cell phone.!! ?
      If the driver had been easing his way round the corner instead of firing on all cylinders in the way that car owners tend to do…… Who needs a car if they live in NYC? Those visiting are accustomed to drying fast. The whole thing sucks.

      • Em says:

        My first thought too, Speo, was distracted driver and should be punished. Half a block is quite a ways to not brake. Saw a snow plow driver back in January (when they were calling themselves “First Responders” after some snow storm) looking down and texting while driving his snow plow around the corner on Amsterdam and 106th – even government workers doing it all the time.

    18. Beth says:

      According to this news report with security video, the woman did have the walk signal. It shows one car making a turn and then it appears she stepped into the crosswalk when the following car was already in mid-turn. If so, this appears to be a tragic accident.

      http://www.myfoxny.com/story/25994192/woman-killed-near-intersection-where-boy-was-struck-down

      • dan says:

        It’s obvious from this clip this driver is at fault. He did not slow down. When I make a turn in the city you have to go slow and presume someone is stepping out, and look not just in the crosswalk but on the sidewalks. In a just world the driver goes to jail for years and can never drive again. those are the kind of penalties that maybe will get reckless drivers attention. As for the cellphone, are people kidding? so if she was talking to a child and they were hit, also their fault?

    19. UWS Mayor says:

      It’s obvious from the video clip that the driver made a sharp turn. West End Avenue (WEA) has three lanes heading North and three lanes heading South (one of which is used for parking on each side). From the clip, it appears that the driver did not fully enter the intersection before making the left onto the North bound lanes. The driver clearly hit the pedestrian as she crossed the South Bound lanes – kind of explains why he had to drag her so far (to the North Bound lanes), so as to make it appear as if he had hit her while he made a pefect left turn.

    20. JD says:

      Folks, I just want to say this in general terms, without regard to this specific incident, because I simply don’t know enough about what happened. The right of way is not a shield that immunizes you from harm. It may be true that in a lawsuit after an accident, the victim (or the decedent’s family) can assert right of way, but it will not protect you from an oncoming vehicle. If you think, as one commenter mentioned below, that the right of way should free you to walk into a NYC street without any awareness of your surroundings, you are asking for trouble. An oblivious pedestrian doesn’t stand a chance against a moving car, and nothing you say about the right of way will change that reality. While a pedestrian cannot control what a driver does, you can control how aware you are of what is going on around you. If you’d rather place your safety in the hands of NYC drivers, well, you’re far more cavalier with your life than I am with mine.

      [Again – to be clear – I am not saying Ms. Chambers was unaware. And, even if she was unaware, that doesn’t make this any less of a tragedy.]

      • Cato says:

        Very, very nicely said.

      • BW says:

        Many years ago there was a billboard campaign about pedestrian safety. The graphic consisted of the two thick white lines of a pedestrian crosswalk with a chalk outline of a victim within the crosswalk. The message read, “You may be right. Dead Right.” Right of way, crossing with the light, etc. is a good start but thinking you can go head to head with a 3,000 lb moving hunk of steel and win is arrogant and misguided.

      • Beth says:

        Well-said, thank you.

      • R says:

        Thank you, JD. You’ve said exactly what I’ve been feeling since I read this story and the accompanying comments.

        The truth is that no matter how much at fault a car driver may be, the real loser every time is going to be the pedestrian who gets hit. Others may scream and protest all they want about their right to be on their cell phones while they walk from one place to the next, but the harsh and painful truth is that doing so distracts pedestrians from much of their environment, and clearly our neighborhood’s streets can be dangerous, if not downright lethal.

        I’ve walked right into oncoming traffic twice while on the cell phone, so engaged I was in my conversation that the rest of the world got temporarily shut out. I was lucky, but I also stopped doing it because I recognized the inherent dangers in what I was doing.

        Let me be clear: In no way am I blaming Ms. Chambers for her own death. She might have been killed even had she not been on her cell phone, based solely on how the driver in question was clearly not paying full attention to his surroundings. But there’s no question in my mind that her chance of survival would have been improved at least a small percentage had she been fully engaged with that street crossing.

        It’s a painful thing to admit, but to argue that point is ridiculous. Yes, the driver is at fault, but we have to be smarter about being pedestrians as well. We can’t control bad drivers, but we can control how we conduct ourselves as pedestrians and city residents.

        (And I imagine that driver might have been on a phone call as well. Not sure if that’s been ruled out yet, but that’s how these tragedies occur all too often.)

        My condolences to all the family and friends of Ms. Chambers.

    21. Do says:

      My understanding of the legality of yielding in this situation is cars do not move until the crosswalk is clear of pedestrians. My experience is that I am in competition for the street with aggressive drivers weaving between groups of pedestrians or crossing the street with a vehicle inches from my back trying to get by. Turning on a green arrow only with a do not walk is the only safe solution. If you drive in the city you must accept the consequences , i.e., reduced speeds, slower pace, etc. If you walk you must obey the rules too.

      • Em says:

        Love Do’s idea. How do we work to implement this?

      • ELJ says:

        Mrs. Chambers death was a tragedy that should not have happened. It is an example of why I have no desire to drive in NYC. My comment here is in response to Do’s idea for a solution for turns.

        Unfortunately green arrows or delayed walk signs to allow for unimpeded left turns do not work very well. There are several UWS intersections that have had green arrows for drivers and pedestrians did not pay attention to them. Examples are:

        Westbound 86th Street onto southbound Columbus. Eastbound pedestrians walk into the crosswalk despite the do not walk sign as they see that the north/southbound traffic on Columbus has a red light and assume that they can cross.

        96th and Broadway (recently changed). Cars turning from northbound Broadway to eastbound 96th. Pedestrians coming from the subway station or walking towards the subway station routinely ignored the do not walk sign.

        Northbound Amsterdam to westbound 71st St. Pedestrians seeing a red light on Broadway as well as a do not walk sign on 71st ignore the fact that the cars on Amsterdam have the right of way when they have the green light.

        Columbus Circle and 60th. When the walk sign is lit, all directions are available to pedestrians, north, south, east and west. There is a period of time when the do not walk sign is lit and cars going north on Broadway are allowed to turn westbound to 60th. As southbound traffic on Broadway is stopped, pedestrian disregard the the do not walk sign and cross anyway.

        Those aren’t the only examples.

        • Eddie says:

          I will join others in agreeing that this is a horrible tragedy and based on the information provided, the driver is clearly at fault and Mrs. Chambers was an innocent victim. However, as these examples of ignored left turn signals prove, pedestrians are not immune from responsibility. I frequently see pedestrians ignoring do not walk signs then getting angry at drivers trying to make legal turns. Similarly, as much as a pedestrian has the right of way over a turning vehicle, it would be courteous of pedestrians to get through intersections as expeditiously as possible to facilitate the turning cars. In the case of the elderly, handicapped, etc. the drivers must be patient. But I routinely see people stopping in the middle of an intersection while a driver is trying to turn so they can pull something out of a bag, start a text, etc. These people do not deserve to be run down by cars, but it would be helpful if they moved as quickly as possible and waited until they were on the sidewalk to do what they had to do.
          Again, my condolences to the family of Mrs. Chambers.

          • Em says:

            The driver can wait a few seconds (or better, not drive in the city) because all that is waiting for him or her after the turn is…a red light.

        • do says:

          Strict enforcement and behavior change over time are necessary for a viable solution. We cannot ban cars or pedestrians. Drivers will speed and pedestrians will jaywalk. Pitting them against each other for the same space as we do now with turning and crossing at the same time is a recipe disaster. This is the 2nd such disaster in this area just this year!

    22. Scott says:

      Will the driver get a summons? Hope so. Once again I don’t understand the idiocy of NYS law. Kill a motorist in their car, you go to jail for manslaughter. Kill a kid on 97th st., you get a summons and maybe points on your license.

    23. David Gordon says:

      So sad to hear this My commiserations to all. People in SUVs are usually quite safe and could make them feel invincible. These vehicle are harder to stop abruptly in this type of situation. Therefore I suggest SUVs should have a slightly slower speed limit to other cars. This rule may be good for some other larger vehicles and may encourage the use of smaller cars. Smaller cars means safer roads, less congestion & pollution etc.

    24. JENNIFER JOHNSON says:

      I HAVE WORKED AT THIS INTERSECTION FOR ALMOST 10 YEARS…IVE NEVER SEEN A CROSSING GUARD AT THIS POINT…IVE SEEN A FEW PEOPLE GET HIT AT THIS INTERSECTION! THIS MORNING,THEY DID INSTALL SIGNS THAT SAY…NO LEFT TURN MON.-FRI.7AM TO 9AM…THIS IS GOOD FOR THE SCHOOL AT THIS INTERSECTION,BUT THERE ARE ALSO ELDERLY PEOPLE TOO…LETS GO FOR NO LEFT TURN PERIOD!