NYPD GOES ON ENFORCEMENT BLITZ AFTER DEADLY CRASH; ‘NO HARD EVIDENCE OF SPEEDING’ IN CRASH

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Police closed off the intersection of 96th street and Amsterdam Avenue after the crash on Jan. 14. Photo by David Torres.

By Joy Bergmann

The 24th Precinct issued 131 summons to drivers during the 72-hour period following the January 14 collision that killed pedestrian Thomas McAnulty at 96th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, Deputy Inspector Marlon Larin told Community Council attendees Wednesday evening.

“Enforcement, engineering and education,” he said are needed to improve traffic safety along the high-volume 96th Street corridor, one of the few river-to-river routes across Manhattan. Among the 131 summons were 11 for cellphone use, 19 for failure to yield to pedestrians and 12 for disobeying a signal; 4 DUI arrests were made and 4 people were found to be driving with suspended licenses.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the McAnulty incident continues to indicate it was a tragic accident, Larin said:

NYPD has requested that DOT repaint traffic markings and zebra crosswalks in the vicinity. Larin also said they were looking to alter the green-light phasing and possibly improve area lighting, especially around buildings with scaffolding.

NEWS | 32 comments | permalink
    1. anon says:

      5:46? That’s significantly later than was reported earlier. There’s no question it’s dark at 5:46. Thank you for reporting these findings. Hopefully your readers will stop blaming to motorcyclist. It appears he did nothing wrong.

    2. joe says:

      It amazes me that while I am waiting for the light to change, the number of drivers passing by or turning I see on phones or fiddling around with them. Which leads to my next observation, before the cell phones and texting what did people talk about.

    3. Zulu says:

      The enforcement is great and frankly overdue but it will not last forever at this level. The only way to ensure tragedies like this don’t keep happening as often is through engineering (street calming) and also (perhaps most importantly) a change in culture.

      Again, very sorry for the untimely death of this gentleman. I sincerely hope Mr. McAnulty’s unnecessary death prompts DOT and CB7 to make the necessary changes to greatly reduce the incidence of these tragic events.

    4. Barbara says:

      I still don’t understand why the NYPD seems so reluctant to increase enforcement. They issued 131 summonses in a 72 hour period — that’s incredible and some seem to be for serious problems, like DWI. Why can’t drivers feel that they are being watched by police and will be pulled over for violating regulations and rules — I’m a driver and have no problem with knowing that I have to obey certain laws (rules/regulations) and if I don’t, I believe I should know that there is a good chance I will be caught — right now, there is no incentive for drivers to behave because the chance of being seen by cops is minimal. Failing to yield to pedestrians is rampant and numerous drivers can be seen talking on cellphones — it has to stop because it is dangerous for everyone. Enforcement is key.

      • Zulu says:

        What’s worse, even when cops see people committing infractions they do nothing. In my mind one of the worst violations is running a bus stop sign. Drivers in NYC go by buses with the deployed stop sign like it’s a sport. Even with a cop car parked on the corner violators don’t even get stopped.

      • anon says:

        What qualifies as failure to yield to pedestrians? If I’m crossing and a car is trying to make a left or right turn do they need to stop if I’m anywhere in the crosswalk? What if I’m not in the crosswalk or don’t have the light?

    5. Brandon says:

      Did they give any tickets for jaywalking? As a pedestrian I’m happy to see the police ticketing drivers breaking the rules but I think pedestrians and bikes also need to be ticketed.

    6. withheld says:

      I find it telling that nearly every comment here talks about drivers, cars, vehicles, when the police details clearly indicate the pedestrian was jaywalking. Yes, it was a tragic accident, but it was caused by the pedestrian, not a vehicle.

      • Zulu says:

        I’m pretty sure it’s because most people feel really bad for the gentleman that lost his life so tragically. Also, pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users so as such it’s natural that most people want to fix what ever is the “cause” of injury or death.

        To add to the above, statistically speaking most of these deaths are indeed caused by the negligence of drivers. However, I do agree that jaywalking and worse, having your nose buried in a smart phone as you cross the street is opening the door to the grim reaper himself.

    7. Jack@W.80th says:

      No cameras at 96th street and Amsterdam?!?!? That’s a NO BRAINER. Being that its a river-to-river route, cameras should be installed at EVERY intersection along 96th. Are you listening, Helen Rosenthal?

      • Upper West Side Wally says:

        New York City needs permission from Albany to install traffic/security cameras. Not much Rosenthal can do, except put in the umpteenth request.

        • Lucien says:

          I completely agree. New York state should provide a clause that more cameras be allowed in NYC. It seems like a very easy thing to do for traffic enforcement.

        • westender says:

          Wrong Wally.
          NYC needs permission from the state to install SPEED cameras. NYC is allowed to install as many traffic cameras as it wants/needs.

          There are many cameras installed all over the city, though not many on W96.

          http://nyctmc.org/

          • Anon says:

            Thanks westerner. There is a camera at Broadway and 96th and then one at CPW but nothing at Amsterdam. I wonder if they looked for the motorcycle on the Broadway camera.

      • Susan says:

        Without a doubt there should be cameras at every block in both directions-if you speed you get a ticket! This is the second such fatal accident in this block in two years. There’s enforcement for a short while and then it goes back to business as usual. But no one wants to really speak to a major cause of more fatalities in this small area. It’s overbuilding!! I can count at least 10 major high rises which have gone in in 8 years. No concern for a neighborhood’s inability to absorb thousands more residents. And our Mayor says, build more and build higher. That’s what he calls “planning”. And another beautiful human being is struck down a block from his home! Enough!!!

        • Anon says:

          Using this accident as an example of why we need cameras ticket speeding vehicles is ridiculous. Did you read the article? The pedestrian was crossing against the light after dark. There is no evidence the motorcycle was speeding.

          • Margaret says:

            I think we’re just waiting for the cops to investigate this out. They’ve already revised the time of the collision by 40 minutes so it seems apparent the understanding is fluid. The first story isn’t necessarily the last word.

            At least eight security cameras are on the south side of 96th street between Broadway and Amsterdam – hopefully one of those caught some detail of this poor man’s death. Does the timing of the lights change over the course of the day? When I was there, there’s only a quick eleven seconds to go up the hill from Broadway and get the late yellow light at Amsterdam. At the speed limit, that puts one or two drivers through at best without speeding and/or running the light.

            • Anon says:

              What makes you think the motorcycle hit the green at Broadway and Amsterdam? He could have turned from Broadway onto 96th or pulled out of a parking spot on 96th.

              I don’t know any more details than you do but I’m not going to accuse the motorcyclists without a single piece of evidence.

            • Margaret says:

              I don’t know what happened, so I’m glad the cops are investigating. I mean, the motorcyclist hit someone who died. Speeding is a problem across the upper west side. We don’t know what happened, and the speed is relevant. A guy who lived through Vietnam and had lived and walked around the UWS for 35 years died at a notoriously dangerous intersection. Of course I want the police to investigate thoroughly. If it comes out that he was puttering along at 25 mph, I’ll grieve a life lost and be glad we got that information.

          • Brandon says:

            The police have said the pedestrian was crossing against the light. We know it was dark at 5:46. Even if they find evidence that the motorcycle was speeding the pedestrian is (at least partially) at fault. Speeding is a problem but so is jaywalking. You seem to be discounting that.

            • Brandon says:

              Even the phrasing of ‘the motorcyclist hit someone who died’ shows bias. The pedestrian stepped in front of a motorcycle and was killed.

    8. Er-nay says:

      As an occasional driver here in Manhattan, I have to say that I’m always surprised by how many people are walking in the street. It seems people are darting out from everywhere. People are edging out into the street at every sidewalk, at every light. Go outside right now and you will see this at every intersection at every light. Cabs are stopping in the middle of the street and crosswalk forcing both drivers and pedestrians into dangerous areas. It’s chaos!
      This is a terrible, terrible accident, but unless we ban cars from our streets entirely, It is important that everybody follow the rules that apply to their situation. We need to crack down on everyone not following the rules (even the cops) if we want to increase safety, not just blame one group or another.

    9. Bill Williams says:

      We don’t need any more engineering in this area. The entire neighborhood has been ruined with the re-engineering. What needs to happen is pedestrians need to get up on the curbs and stop crossing on red lights.

    10. NYCside says:

      More cameras? More tickets? More cops? The further we move away from personal responsibility and accountability the further we are from solutions.

      Being watched or ticketed does not deter people who lack those qualities. It merely further enforces the attitude that someone/something will take responsibility for one’s actions and accountability when something happens.

      It’s quite possible this was just a horrible accident with tragic results and no camera is going to change it. And my goodness my heart goes out to all involved.

      Better lighting and crosswalk lines would be great at this intersection–the city taking responsibility for itself–but more cameras, cops and tickets are not going to make things better over time. Instead, it further removes personal responsibility and accountability and replaces it with a false sense of security, expectation of others to take care of it and blame when things don’t go well.

    11. Julie says:

      I agree with Anon. I’m always rushing to cross the street with a car is making that left or right turn. I always thought pedestrian had the right of way.

    12. Ground Control says:

      I’d recommend to those who think cameras for speeding are not a good idea, or that pedestrians in this city (though at times careless no doubt) don’t have the right of way-to go to London, and see how effective speed cameras are throughout that city! And also see the respect drivers show to pedestrians there. I think that once you do, you will be mystified as to why our pedestrians are treated as they are here. The fact of the matter is that cars kill people-and pretty much not the other way around!! A motorcycle would have had to have been going at a pretty good clip, to not brake, and consequently throw a pedestrian careening through the air to his death.

      • Brandon says:

        When you ask why pedestrians don’t have the right of way do you mean that you think pedestrians should have the right to cross the street wherever and whenever they choose regardless of traffic lights? The police say that is what happened here.

    13. Tyson White says:

      How will a short-lived blitz at one intersection help, when this precinct still issues only 1 ticket a day for speeding, texting, and failure to yield to pedestrian (the 3 most dangerous violation)

      http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/traffic_data/mv-en-us-024sum.pdf