In a coup for Vision Zero supporters, the New York Times published four in-depth articles over the weekend on the victims of traffic violence. I urge you to read each of them, as they provide different angles on the fight for safer streets – and the consequences we face if we’re unsuccessful.
Sonny Kleinfield shares a moving profile of the family of Sammy Cohen Eckstein, who was killed on October 8 on Prospect Park West. I am still in awe at the courage the three of them – mother, father, sister – show in the face of overwhelming grief.
Mr. Kleinfield was shadowing the Cohen-Eckstein family at the New Year’s Day rally outside City Hall. This piece was well worth the wait.
Delivery worker Pedro Santiago “was among the forgettable faces of the workers in the service economy, the person who facilitated the lifestyle that New Yorkers take for granted,” writes Anemona Hartocollis. Mr. Santiago, 45, was killed early last Sunday on his bicycle on 125th Street in Harlem.
This anonymity cast on these delivery workers by well-off, impatient New Yorkers is one of many reasons that I support protections for them during hazardous conditions. The lifestyle is a dangerous one, and many of them have no choice.
Here, we view the portrait of a man who took engineering classes at Columbia and read classic literature in two languages in his spare time – a thirst for true understanding so rare in this city, no longer with us.
In Well, Barron H. Lerner, M.D., asks us to treat reckless and distracted driving as a serious crime. Dr. Lerner is the uncle of Cooper Stock, the 9-year-old who was killed on 97th and West End Avenue two weekends ago.
Writes Lerner: “As the author of a book on the history of drunk driving, I know that efforts to criminalize drunk driving were long stymied by a cultural indifference to the problem.”
Not only does Vision Zero face cultural indifference, it’s up against a sense of entitlement among the driving class – one it will fight tooth and nail to protect.
Mr. Shear was killed by a tour bus half an hour before Cooper Stock, two blocks away. With a collection of 100,000 nostalgic items purchased at fairs and flea markets over the past half-century, he seems like the type of guy I would have loved to have known.
Beyond this article, I never will.