Saturday: Hell’s Kitchen to March for Pedestrian Safety

CHEKPEDS, the Hell's Kitchen Neighborhood Association and Transportation Alternatives will hold a march tomorrow in honor of pedestrians killed on Ninth Avenue. The march will begin at 2:00 p.m. on the west side of Ninth at 45th Street and will proceed to 36th Street. Along the way, commemorative plaques will be installed for six pedestrians killed by cars in recent years: Randolph Walker, Nina Petrov, Douglas Dibble, Fabiola Grande-Coyotl, Sabina Paradi, and most recent victim Susanne M. Schnitzer.

Sabina.jpegSabina Paradi, killed on Ninth Avenue in 2007
Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, City Council Member John Liu and Manhattan district attorney candidate Richard Aborn are expected to participate. 

Reads a TA media release:

Ninth Avenue in Hell's Kitchen, with its many accesses to the Lincoln Tunnel, remains one of New York City's most dangerous streets for pedestrians. The community was once festering with crime, but in a recent survey 70% of the residents said they fear for their lives when they cross the street, while only 5% are scared of crime.

It is very encouraging that a potential future Manhattan DA is taking part in events like this, and we'd feel a lot better about Liu's involvement if he'd stop badmouthing measures to make pedestrians safer.

Expect calls tomorrow for passage of the Hayley Ng and Diego Martinez Law, which would mandate safety training and community service for New York State drivers who seriously injure or kill a pedestrian or cyclist. According to TA, the driver who killed Susanne Schnitzer left the scene. Though he was later located, he has not been charged for taking her life. In such cases, the Ng-Martinez bill would give DAs more options to pursue charges, adding a modicum of muscle to the state's weak laws against deadly driving.