Will the Tower Cranes Survive Irene?

In reviewing the many ways that New York City is planning for Hurricane Irene, including mandatory evacuations and a total shutdown of the subways and trains, it was noticed that there is a concern for the 26 tower cranes presently located in the city. 13 of the cranesare at the World Trade Center construction site. They are only built to withstand winds of 65 mph or less. They do not disassemble quickly and may not be able to be taken down in time for the storm.

In light of the forecast for winds in excess of 65 mphthe cranes seem … Read the rest

NYC Makes No Bones About It: Obey The 30 MPH Speed Limit or You’ll See a Skeleton

Throughout New York City and other places, drivers are becoming accustomed to seeing radar-equipped speed boards that tell them how fast they’re going, and flash when their speed exceeds the speed limit. This past week Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that some of the speed boards will now also show the words SLOW DOWN and the image of a healthy pedestrian turns into a skeleton on electronic signs when drivers exceed the city speed limit. As long as a driver obeys the city’s 30 mph speed limit, no skeleton will appear. The signs … Read the rest

NYC Buildings Department Announces Construction-Related Accidents Dropped By 28% In 2010

On January 11th, 2011, the New York City Buildings Department announced that there was a 28% decrease in construction-related accidents in New York City in 2010 when compared to the previous year.

In 2010, there were 157 reported construction-related accidents compared to 218 in 2009. There were four fatal construction-related accidents in 2010, a 78% decrease when compared to 2008. The total number of reported construction-related injuries also dropped from 241 injuries in 2009 to 165 in 2010, a 31% decrease. All four of the fatal construction-related accidents in 2010 – two in Brooklyn and two in Manhattan – involved … Read the rest

New York City Not Liable to Bystanders Shot By Police During Daylight Exchange of Gunfire on Public Street

In the Court of Appeals decision in Johnson v. City of New York, 2010 WL 4720753 (November 23, 2010), five police officers got into a shootout with a robbery suspect at 126th Street and Lenox Avenue in Manhattan.

Plaintiff Tammy Johnson was playing with her 18-month-old daughter and socializing with neighbors on 126th Street near her residence when she heard gunshots, and she and her daughter took cover by lying on the ground behind an SUV. An errant bullet struck Johnson’s elbow, and she commenced a negligence action against the City on behalf of herself and her daughter.

A … Read the rest

November 2010 Issue of NYC Vital Signs Devoted to Improving Traffic Safety in New York City

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released a data report focused upon traffic death statistics and touting its plans to improve safety in 2010-2011. The data in this report are from the NYC Department of Transportations (DOT) Traffic Fatality Database, the primary source of traffic-related death and injury statistics in New York City.

Key findings included (1) males and people in their 20s make up a disproportionately high number of those killed in motor vehicle accidents compared to their prevalence in the population; (2) traffic fatalities in NYC disproportionately occur on major streets; (3) pedestrian fatalities … Read the rest

National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week Starts Today

Over the past seven years, 109 children have been injured in elevator and escalator incidents in the City, including one fatal accident in 2008. In an effort to prevent injuries, since 2004, inspectors from the New York City Buildings Departments Elevators Unit have taught thousands of students how to safely ride the Citys 60,000 elevators and 2,200 escalators and what to do in the event of an emergency.

This week, inspectors will be providing critical safety tips to more than 2,300 first, second and third graders in 16 schools throughout the Citys five boroughs. For the first time since the … Read the rest

Older Pedestrians Are Far More Likely To Be Killed While Walking Than Younger Ones

Between 2006 and 2008, 290 pedestrians aged 60 years and older were killed in motor vehicle accidents on downstate New York roads. Though comprising just over 17 percent of the area’s population, people aged 60 and older accounted for 42 percent of the total pedestrian fatalities during the three-year period. Those aged 75 years and older represent less than 6 percent of the downstate New York’s population, but nearly 20 percent of pedestrian deaths.

Details are contained in a report released earlier this month by Tri-State Transportation Campaign titled The Most Dangerous Roads for Walking. Fatality rates for older pedestrians … Read the rest

Pedicabs and NYC Bike Month

May is NYC Bike Month. With the great weather earlier this month, it seemed like pedicabs, a tricycle with a 2-seated wagon, are coming out of the woodwork. As I cross the street from my office to Grand Central Station I see happy, relaxed passengers sitting in the back of pedicabs conversing with their driver. This is the first summer that the new rules concerning pedicabs are in effect.

Taxi drivers and pedestrians have expressed pleasure with the results of the new rules that went into effect on November 30, 2009. But the industry itself may not be as pleased … Read the rest

Will New York City Try to Claim Limitation of Liability on Yesterday’s Staten Island Ferry Crash?

On October 15, 2003, the Staten Island Ferry vessel Andrew J. Barberi missed its dock and hit a maintenance pier at full speed. Eleven people were killed and 71 injured, some critically. Yesterday, the same ferry lost some of its engine ability to slow and stop and slammed into a pier. Nearly 40 people of the 252 people on board were taken to hospitals. People were treated for injuries including cuts, bruises, broken bones and head trauma.

After the first crash, which resulted when the ship’s pilot became incapacitated and no other crew member was in a position to help, … Read the rest

3 LIRR Train Accidents So Far This Year Isolated Incidents or a Pattern to Beware?

There have been three accidents thus far in 2008 at Jamaica Station, the Long Island Rail Road’s busiest station. Two of the train accidents have occurred within the last week, including one on November 23, 2008 that is being considered the worst accident in 15 years.

In that accident, an eastbound train entering Jamaica Station derailed as the eighth car passed over a switch. Three rear cars derailed, one jackknifing over three separate tracks. This accident damaged 4 of the 8 tracks at Jamaica Station. The week before, on November 19, 2 westbound trains bumped each other as they pulled … Read the rest