In Memoriam: Victims of traffic in New York City, 2011

This is certainly among the saddest posts to appear in World Streets at the end of each year; it consists of nothing less than a word for word, image by image reposting of the annual carnage memoriam of traffic in New York City, that is published yearly by our friends and colleagues Streetblogs.org. We do this not only in homage of all those who lost their lives on the contested streets of the Big Apple, but also in the hope that other civil society groups that deal with issues of transportation, public space and well-being in other cities around the world will follow this lead. We do not see how the voting public and responsible politicians cannot be moved by such tragic personal stories with names and faces of innocence, no matter how brief. Of course we need to keep the pressure on them. Unrelenting vigilance.  The eternal task of the civil society.

In Memoriam

by , Streetsblog, 27 December 2011

By many measures, 2011 was a bleak year for advocates of traffic safety. Where 2010 offered hope with the passage of new laws designed to hold reckless drivers accountable for harming vulnerable street users and the seating of a district attorney who pledged to do the same, this year saw those same laws go all but unenforced and erased any lingering notions that a top prosecutor might finally treat traffic violence as a deadly epidemic.

Meanwhile, a war on a model street safety project waged by politically-connected NIMBYs and their media lapdogs took its toll as planned safety improvements were scaled back, and the wishes of those powerful few proved to be the City Council’s commands. The coarse and inept handling of a tragic cyclist death in Brooklyn confirmed the worst suspicions regarding NYPD protocols and prejudices. Juries handed down junk verdicts, joining judges and prosecutors in excusing killer drivers with barely a slap on the wrist. The state’s highest court, in the words of a traffic justice pioneer, is in the process of “systematically decriminalizing” cases of death by motor vehicle.

Still, the fight for safer streets pushes on. The tenacious family of Mathieu Lefevre has shone a light on NYPD malfeasance, and Transportation Alternatives has launched a comprehensive probe into how the department investigates crashes that result in serious injury or death. Early in the new year Streetsblog will conduct a thorough review of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s record on traffic crime. New Yorkers from all walks of life of continue to demand better conditions for walking and cycling. For every James Vacca there is a Melissa Mark-Viverito. And each year NYC DOT re-engineers more streets for greater safety, as evidenced by projects like the pedestrian-oriented overhaul of Grand Army Plaza and the city’s first neighborhood 20 mph zone in Claremont.

What follows is our accounting of New York pedestrians and cyclists known to have lost their lives in 2011. Please use the comments to share remembrances of those named here, and the names and stories of those we missed.

Erica Abbott, Moshe Adler, Zhaneya Butcher, Aileen Chen.
  • Erica Abbott, 29, Cyclist, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog, Gothamist)
  • Mosha Adler, 83, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; No Known Charges (Streetsblog)
  • Maritza Atkins, 68, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; No Known Charges (Times Ledger 1, 2)
  • Jeffrey Axelrod, 52, Cyclist, Killed in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (Gothamist, Voice, Benepe’s)
  • Robert Bond, 53, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Hit-and-Run, Top Charge Unknown (DNA, Post 1, 2)
  • Anthony Buscemi, 68, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Driver Charged With Manslaughter (News, QChron)
  • Zhaneya Butcher, 6, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Top Charge Unknown (News, QChron)
  • Yolanda Casal, 78, Pedestrian; Killed in Manhattan; Driver Fined $500 (Streetsblog)
  • Cesar Cepedes, 44, Killed in Queens; No Known Charges [MTA Bus] (News, NY1)
  • Jerrold Chaleff, 71, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; Driver Not Charged (Post)
  • Aileen Chen, 16, Cyclist, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog, Gothamist)
Tyre Chisholm, Daniela D’Ercole, Marilyn Dershowitz, Ray Deter
  • Tyre Chisholm, 22, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; Driver [NYPD] Charged With Homicide (News 1, 2)
  • Margaret Choberka, 82, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Patricia Cuevas, 51, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog, The Lo-Down)
  • Daniela D’Ercole, 32, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (DNA)
  • Marilyn Dershowitz, 68, Cyclist, Killed in Manhattan; Driver Charged With Leaving Scene (Streetsblog, Post)
  • Ray Deter, 53, Cyclist, Killed in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (DNA, News)
  • Nicolas Djandji, 24, Cyclist, Killed in Brooklyn; No Known Charges (Gothamist, Ghost Bike)
  • Pat Dolan, 72, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Chris Doyle, 29, Cyclist, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog, News)
  • Aron Dudkin, 80, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
Nicolas Djandji, Pat Dolan, Kira Goddard, Clara Heyworth
  • Moses Englender, 4, Killed in Brooklyn; No Known Charges (News)
  • Kira Goddard, 13, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Killed in Crash (NYT, News, CBS)
  • Joseph Granati, 39, Cyclist, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (News)
  • Gillian Hall, 56, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (News)
  • Clara Heyworth, 28, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Charged With DWI, Unlicensed, Assault (The Local)
  • Awsaf Islam, 15, Killed in Queens; No Known Charges (News 1, 2)
  • Toyia Jones, 40, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Hit-and-Run (News, Obit)
  • Steve Jorgenson, 22, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (News, NY1)
  • Raymond Larsen, 46, Killed on Staten Island; Driver Not Charged (Post, Advance)
  • Mathieu Lefevre, 30, Cyclist, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog 1, 2, 3)
Awsaf Islam, Toyia Jones, Steve Jorgenson, Mathieu Lefevre
  • Ilia Lopez, 58, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Hit-and-Run (Daily Mail, CBS, DNA)
  • Theauther Love, 87, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver [NYPD] Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Fan Meng, 77, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Driver Not Charged (Times Ledger)
  • Nilo Montilla, 57, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; Driver Issued Summonses (Streetsblog, R’dale Press)
  • James Pierre, 23, Cyclist, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (Courier Life)
  • Denise Pierrelus, 65, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (Bklyn Daily, Canarsie Courier)
  • Andrew Ramirez, 2, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens; Driver Not Charged (News, Post)
  • Steven Reese, 58, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; No Known Charges (DNA)
  • Laurence Renard, 35, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Driver Fined $500 (Streetsblog)
  • Thomas Riley, 23, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; Driver Charged With DWI, Homicide, Leaving Scene (Post, News)
Ilia Lopez, Theauther Love, Laurence Renard, Russell Smith
  • Ronald Simpson, 43, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; One Driver Flees, Second Driver Not Charged (NY1, CBS)
  • Russell Smith, 11, Pedestrian, Killed in the Bronx; No Known Charges (News, Post)
  • Chandana Asoka Sundarawadu, 51, Killed on Staten Island; Driver Charged With Assault (Advance)
  • Stephen Tanenbaum, 62, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Charged With Homicide (NYT, DNA)
  • Kok Hoe Tee, 55, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Driver [NYPD Auxiliary] Not Charged (Streetsblog, DNA, ABC)
  • Luis Torres, 22, Cyclist, Killed in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run, Charges Unknown (News)
  • Dominick Trevisano, 51, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (News)
  • Terence Tsao, 17, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Charged With DWI, Manslaughter (News)
  • Caroline Tunage, 56, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (Post, Patch)
  • Meilech Weiss, 62, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; No Known Charges (Post, Vos Iz Neias)
Kok Koe Tee, Luis Torres, Dominick Trevisano
  • Qi Yu Weng, 28, Cyclist, Killed in Manhattan; Hit-and-Run, No Known Charges [MTA Bus] (NYT, Post)
  • Leonia White, 89, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (DNA, Post, Gothamist)
  • Timothy White, 29, Pedestrian, Killed in Manhattan; Driver Charged With Manslaughter (NYT, Post, Gothamist)
  • Andrzei Wiesniuk, 70, Cyclist, Killed in Queens; Driver Charged With Suspended License (Streetsblog, News)
  • Aniya Williams, 13, Pedestrian, Killed on Staten Island; Driver Not Charged (News, Post)
  • David John Williams, 63, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (News)
  • Katherine Yun, 25, Pedestrian, Killed in Brooklyn; No Known Charges [City Sanitation] (News, NYT)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, 54, Killed Feb. 14 in Manhattan; No Known Charges (Streetsblog, DNA)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian Killed Mar. 18 in Brooklyn; No Known Charges (Streetsblog)
  • Unnamed Cyclist Killed Mar. 25 in Manhattan; No Known Charges [MTA Bus] (NY1)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian Killed Mar. 31 in Brooklyn; No Known Charges (Streetsblog)
Meilech Weiss, Aniya Williams, Unidentified Cyclist Killed July 18 in the BronxMeilech Weiss, Aniya Williams, Unidentified Cyclist Killed July 18 in the Bronx
  • Unnamed Pedestrian Killed June 21 in Brooklyn; Driver Charged With Hit-and-Run (Streetsblog)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian Killed June 25 in Queens; Driver Charged With Suspended License (Post)
  • Unidentified Cyclist Killed July 18 in the Bronx; No Known Charges (Post)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, 25, Killed Aug. 21 in Queens; No Known Charges (Post)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian Killed Aug. 27 in Queens; No Known Charges (Post)
  • Unidentified Pedestrian Killed Sep. 18 in the Bronx; Hit-and-Run (News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, 86, Killed Oct. 26 in Manhattan; No Known Charges (Streetsblog, DNA)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian Killed Oct. 27 in Brooklyn; No Known Charges (Midwood Blog)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, 58, Killed Dec. 2 in Manhattan; Driver [Motorcyclist] Not Charged (AP)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian Killed Dec. 8 in Brooklyn; No Known Charges [Motorcyclist] (Streetsblog)
  • Unnamed Cyclist, 17, Killed Dec. 16 in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (DNA)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, 73, Killed Dec. 20 in Manhattan; No Known Charges (DNA)
# # #
About Streetsblog

Transport-obsessed site Streetsblog —which focuses on everything from bike lines to subway fare hikes— was born, appropriately, in transport-obsessed New York City. Originally launched in 2006 by Aaron Naparstek, it has since branched out to cover transportation in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Streetsblog has its origins in the advocacy movement, focusing on local transportation and street safety issues in the hope of creating a more navigable terrain for those city dwellers traveling sans car. The Streetsblog team’s goal: to influence policy while building a reader base of like-minded and concerned citizens.

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