Ten people sustained non-serious injuries in a residential gas explosion in New York City, the New York Times reported last week. The gas explosion took place in a three-story Bronx house, where Fire marshals and Con Edison inspectors are investigating whether the gas plumbing system may have been responsible for the incident. The Times report states that Con Edison said in a statement that the company “was not doing work at the house at the time of the explosion and that gas service had been shut off after the incident.” Continue reading
A new bill in the New York City Council would remove the New York Police Department’s authority to investigate car crashes, vesting that power instead with the city’s Department of Transportation. According to StreetsBlog, the bill is supported by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson but opposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
In a statement to the publication, Johnson said that the Department of Transportation “could operate in a better way,” and that the transfer of power would professionalize the investigation of car crashes and traffic incidents. In a statement arguing against the bill, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in part: “I want to see stronger penalties for people who hurt or kill other people with their automobile. I still think we have farther to go on that front, particularly in state law. I want to see more stringent investigations that lead to consequences… my goal is to just do better with crash investigations, but I think NYPD and DOT both have a role to play.” Continue reading
New research has found that the New York City subway system contains toxic air quality, according to a new report in City and State. The research, published by NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine, took measurements of the air quality in 71 subway stations across the city, as well as in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Boston, during the morning rush hour and the evening rush hour. It found that samples collected from ten Port Authority stations and three Metropolitan Transportation Authority stations “were found to contain two to seven times more ‘hazardous metals and organic particles’ than were detected in air samples collected outside,” City and State reports. Continue reading
New York City Council candidate John Sanchez recently laid out his plan for making the streets of The Bronx safer for cyclists and pedestrians. In an essay on StreetsBlog NYC, Sanchez described the key elements of his plan, which include protected bike lanes, curtailing parking, and better street design. “As a lifelong resident of The Bronx, I want my neighborhood to be one in which a family can ride bikes safely,” he wrote, “in which no one dies or become seriously injured simply for walking in the neighborhood or for performing the job of delivering food — left and discarded on the road by a hit-and-run driver.” Continue reading
A new study by the transportation safety nonprofit organization Transportation Alternatives found that traffic violence is “a near-universal experience” for people living in New York City. According to the group’s research, 30% of New Yorkers have been injured in a traffic collision, while 70% of New Yorkers know someone who has either been injured or killed in a traffic collision.
Transportation Alternatives’ data shows that someone dies of traffic violence every 36 hours in New York City. The victims of traffic violence include pedestrians, drivers, motorcyclists, and cyclists. Transportation Alternatives attributes much of the risk of traffic-related fatalities to “unsafe streets,” “urban avenues built to encourage speeding,” and “lanes that are unprotected, disconnected, or entirely missing.” Continue reading
Many of the cyclists killed by motor vehicles in 2020 were low-income essential workers, according to a recent analysis by StreetsBlog. There were 243 victims of vehicle-related deaths last year, 26 of whom were cyclists. As StreetsBlog notes, 2020 was “the second deadliest [year] for traffic violence during Mayor de Blasio’s seven years in office.” The analysis argues that the mayor’s administration did not do enough to protect cyclists, many of whom died in “neighborhoods that have historically been neglected and underinvested in for street-safety improvements.” Continue reading
2020 was the deadliest year for traffic crashes in New York City since Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced his Vision Zero plan in 2014, according to a recent report by the New York Times. There were at least 243 deaths in traffic crashes in the city last year, despite a downturn in actual traffic during the Covid-19 pandemic. As the Times report observes, this spike was at odds with historical trends, in which “Economic downturns and reduced congestion typically lead to fewer fatal crashes.”
During the pandemic, however, there was an increase in reckless driving, as motorists went over the speed limit on sparse turnpikes, drag-raced, and rode motorcycles. As such, there was a stark increase in driver, passenger, and motorcyclist deaths over the last year, from 68 in 2019 to 120 in 2020. Pedestrian fatalities fell, according to the Times, while bicyclist fatalities remained steady. Continue reading
Experts have expressed concerns that pressure injuries, also known as bedsores, have risen with the spike in hospitalizations during the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, according to a new report in USA Today, “hospitals are putting extra focus” on preventing bedsores, which more than 2.5 million people suffer from each year, according to a the National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel estimate, and which kill more than 60,000 people annually.
Pressure injuries involve “localized damage to the skin or underlying soft tissue,” the report states. They often occur over “a bony area or from a medical device,” when the area experiences either “intense” or sustained pressure, or both. A pressure injury may simply involve a light abrasion of the skin, or an open wound. Continue reading
Eight lawsuits have been filed against local Boy Scouts of America councils in Arizona, alleging that scout leaders “sexually abused children dating back decades,” according to a report by the Associated Press. The lawsuits about decades-old allegations are possible thanks to a state law implemented last year that allows victims of child sexual abuse to sue their alleged abusers “and any churches, youth groups or other institutions that turned a blind eye to the abuse” until their 30th birthday.
An attorney representing claimants in the eight Arizona lawsuits told the Associated Press that he expected “to file four more in the state” by the end of 2020. He alleged that the Boy Scouts of America “systematically failed to keep sexual predators who were Scout leaders from preying on children.” Another attorney told the Associated Press that he expected his organization, Abuse In Scouting, would file as many as 300 lawsuits against Arizona by the end of the year. Continue reading
Newly released federal data indicates that in 2019, vehicular crashes and injuries rose while pedestrian and cyclist fatalities fell. StreetsBlog, a website covering transportation issues and pedestrian safety, suggests that this data reflects “that doctors are getting better at saving lives after collisions while our streets remain as dangerous as ever.”
According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019 there was a total of 36,096 deaths resulting from vehicle crashes, down from 36,835 in 2018. There were 630 fewer passenger vehicle occupant fatalities; 169 fewer pedestrian fatalities; 25 fewer pedalcyclist fatalities; 568 fewer alcohol-impaired driving fatalities; and 813 fewer urban fatalities. Continue reading