Tuesday, December 4, 2012

311 Request: Need crosswalk for children crossing from family housing to the grocery store. New Haven DOT response: We don't care.

This issue was open for a year, with six citizen votes to fix, then was suddenly closed and archived by the City because there is a crosswalk already in place at the next street intersection.  

In its response here, the City is essentially asking that the hundreds of residents living across the street from the market (who consider Franklin & Grand, or the market entrance drive & Grand, as their "intersection") shouldn't cross at their own nearby intersection to get there.  

The City is saying that, within a very high crime area, these persons should have to walk all the way down to the next street intersection, cross there, and then walk back along the blank facade of the market.  

This response is not acceptable - when every person is crossing at a location, then the appropriate infrastructure must be provided to make it safer for all road users.

For discussion of a similar issue at another nearby supermarket, click here

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pedestrian Critical in Hit and Run Crash on Whalley Avenue Near Downtown New Haven

10 November, 2012, New Haven:  At 3:05 AM, Officers responded to the area in front of 308 Whalley Avenue. Callers to 911 reported a pedestrian had been struck by a motorist who then fled the scene.

There, they located the victim, 17 year old male. EMS personnel arrived and began their treatment of the young man, who'd suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was rushed to the St. Raphael's campus of Yale - New Haven hospital.

A witness told investigators he'd heard the accident. As he was getting into his car, he heard a thump. He looked in the direction of the sound and spotted a grey four door Nissan Altima (or similar mid-sized car) speeding from the scene. The suspect car may also have heavily tinted windows and significant impact damage to its front end, hood and/ or roof. There may be a '3' and/ or '1' or '31' in the characters of the license plate.

Any witnesses or people with information they could share with investigators are urged to call the New Haven Police Department at 203-946-6304 or 203-946-6316 and ask for a Detective or member of the Crash Investigation Unit.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

50-year old man in crosswalk sent to hospital after vehicle runs red light in East Rock / Cedar Hill

An excerpt from coverage on Friday's crash, at WTNH:

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street in New Haven. The pedestrian, who is described as a 50-year-old Hispanic male, was crossing the street at Ferry and State.

Police said the man was in the crosswalk when a vehicle ran a red light and made an illegal left turn. The vehicle struck the man and fled the scene.

He was take to Yale-New Haven Hospital. No additional details are available at this time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

State Rep: Team up red-light cameras with 'traffic calming'

An op-ed from State Representative Peter Villano, a supporter of safer streets, appeared in yesterday's New Haven Register:

Here is an excerpt:

I agree fully with the Register’s editorial recommendation that the next legislature should rework and approve the stalled red-light camera bill to help “spare people from injury and death.” In its current form, however, the bill lacks sufficient support from Democrats, the majority party in the legislature, to justify placing it on the calendar for the necessary three days’ notification, let alone calling for a floor vote by the full chamber.

Legislative opponents, among others, insist the bill is less about safety than about money — the revenue stream the red light-running fines of $50 per offense would produce for the municipality and the manufacturer of the device.

Whatever the validity of that claim, data demonstrate that the serious problem of red-light running must be addressed. The Federal Highway Administration reports that from 2000 to 2007, the average annual fatalities resulting from red-light running was 916 in the U.S. In 2007, there were 883 red-light running fatalities, and the numbers for recent years are still tragically high.

The inherent flaw in depending solely on cameras to promote public safety is that they do nothing to alter a driver’s behavior. They simply finger the guilty party after the offense has been recorded, an example of justified punishment but not prevention. A companion program is needed that alerts the heavy-footed motorist to changing road conditions ahead, to lane alignments, to structured changes, to slow down for pedestrians and crossing traffic at the busy intersection ahead.

A “traffic calming” program is developed to do that. Not a one-size-fits-all program, it is engineered to the specific demands of each traffic artery in harmony with in-street and neighboring environments. The toolbox bulges with options to control local or through traffic and is readily adaptable to local needs. Examples are speed humps, bump-outs (slight extensions of sidewalk), lane alignment change and shared lane markings. 

To gain support of skeptical legislators and citizens, the red-light camera bill — this year’s HB 5458, or a revised version — must require those devices to be used only in tandem with a local traffic calming program. With these added features in place, emphasis changes from solely penalty payment to public protection. During the legislative session, I had such an amendment prepared for HB 5458, but it was never called. However, it simply states that any municipality authorized to use “automated traffic enforcement devices” must by ordinance provide “for the use of such traffic enforcement safety devices as part of an overall traffic calming plan.”

That or similar language must be part of any future red-light camera legislation. We’re not entering new territory. These programs abound in this state: in New Haven, Hartford, Stamford, Norwalk, West Hartford and many other communities. My own community, Hamden, has four neighborhood-developed traffic calming programs in various stages of implementation. Red-light cameras and traffic calming programs complement each other. Linked legislatively, they will help create downtown and neighborhood environments that adequately and safely accommodate all users at all times.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Op-Ed: Federal transit grants are key to New Haven jobs access

Expanded transportation options, particularly within our city's core, are critical to creating a more equitable and integrated city. A streetcar is one way to improve the performance of the local bus system and expand access for residents. The Transport Politic published this graphic of a possible New Haven Streetcar line several years ago, showing a route that connects employment centers and neighborhoods right near Downtown (e.g., the Hill), plus lines expanding into surrounding neighborhoods such as Fair Haven and Dixwell.

Below is a slightly edited version of a Safe Streets Coalition op-ed piece that appeared in the New Haven Register this week. Please call your Alderperson and ask them to support the grant.

For additional background on the project itself, please see this link on the Streetcar Plan.

FORUM: Federal transit grants key to New Haven jobs access

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 By Mark Abraham

The new members of the New Haven Board of Aldermen are aware that creating equal access to economic opportunity has never been more important. Recently, they voted to adopt a three-part policy platform calling for New Haven to ensure jobs, youth opportunities and public safety for all residents.

According to Angela Glover Blackwell of PolicyLink, a national research institute, such a focus on expanding opportunity for all is the superior economic growth model — for our city and for the nation as a whole. Research suggests that building an inclusive prosperity advances the well-being of all citizens over time, whereas erecting barriers to opportunity causes a place to wither on the vine.

The aldermen understand that transportation is one of the foremost barriers for our residents. This is especially true in an urban area like Greater New Haven where only 27 percent of jobs are reachable with a 90-minute public transit commute. This represents a lower than average degree of access when compared to the 99 other cities included in the Brookings Institution’s 2011 Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America report.

Among certain populations, the inequities are even more striking. For example, in the New Haven metropolitan area, 13 percent of black workers rely on public transit to get to work, including 22 percent within New Haven, versus just 2 percent of white non-Hispanic workers.

Over the coming weeks, the Board of Aldermen must consider whether it should accept nearly $1 million in Federal Transit Authority grants to study improved transportation within the central area of New Haven. The grant will be used to conduct an in-depth design analysis of the feasibility of a streetcar system, including alternatives such as improved bus service.

Unfortunately, some have questioned the acceptance of this grant on the grounds that it will not benefit residents.

Even though transportation improvements might initially take place downtown, residents throughout New Haven will benefit from properly planned transit systems that integrate buses and trains with streetcars, even well before they can be expanded into each neighborhood.

This is especially true for residents like myself who make transfers across existing bus lines, which this FTA grant can make more efficient, as well as for those who walk to the city center from adjacent neighborhoods.

Our aldermen do not need local experts to tell them that this grant is important. They should look to the leadership of President Barack Obama. Under Obama’s new initiatives, the administration has made this funding available because it knows that equitable city planning is the only way to sustain our nation’s human development, public health, and national security goals as gasoline prices rise.

Related to this grant, New Haven also recently received Federal Sustainable Communities Initiative funding to allow the local community to prioritize its vision for interconnected mixed-income housing, job centers, and transit improvements.

Streetcars are a tried-and-true way to make existing regional bus systems more efficient and accessible, a step which can improve employment and affordable housing opportunities for lower-income and disabled residents. Over the past year, the aldermen and citizens have raised many excellent questions about our transportation system.

The board should ensure that citizens can provide additional input into the planning process, including on land use decisions and health effects.

New Haven should not become one of the few cities to turn down this grant, and in doing so, close the door on this once-in-a-generation opportunity to promote a more equitable and inclusive city.

Mark Abraham received the Environmental Justice Network’s 2008 award for coordinating the New Haven Safe Streets Coalition. Readers may write him at 129 Church St., Suite 605, New Haven 06510. His email address is newhavensafestreets at / gmail.com.

URL: http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2012/03/28/opinion/doc4f739f5ed437d668093741.prt

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pedestrian Critically Injured by Drunk Driver in Dixwell, Suffers Lacerated Liver and Two Broken Legs

Report from the New Haven Police Department, February 10th 2012:

At two minutes past midnight, Officer's Juan Monzon & Nikki Curry were walking the beat on Dixwell Avenue near Foote Street, when they were dispatched to Goffe & Sperry Streets, where it was reported a pedestrian had been struck by a car. They quickly made the three block trip. The pedestrian was being attended to by Emergency Medical Personnel from American Medical Response & The New Haven Fire Department. The pedestrian had no identification on him.

The operator of the 1997 Nissan Maxima which struck the pedestrian is Ian Phiri, a 23 year old man from Hamden, CT. He told Officer Curry he'd been driving on Goffe Street, when at Sperry Street, a man walked into the street and into his path. He said he struck the man and then drove to Whalley Avenue, where he pulled over and telephoned Police. Mr. Phiri returned to Sperry Street, where he spoke with Officer Curry.

Other Officers were dispatched to the area for the purpose of rerouting traffic. The NHPD Crash Team and DUI specialist, Officer Dennis Mastriano were dispatched to the scene. Officer Mastriano spoke with Mr. Phiri. He said Phiri had the strong oder of an alcohol beverage on his breath. Mastriano administered standard field sobriety tests,each of which were failed by Mr. Phiri. Officer Mastriano arrested Ian Phiri for Driving Under the Influence, and transported him to Police Headquarters where he administered a breath test. The test was administered at 2:07 AM (over 2 hours after the accident) and resulted in a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .123 (.08 is the legal limit).

The victim who's identity remains unknown, is still hospitalized in critical condition, suffering from internal injuries including a lacerated liver & bladder, as well as two broken legs.

Phiri was charged with Assault in the second degree with a Motor Vehicle and DUI.

An image of the wide, dangerous intersection is shown above courtesy Google.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

SUVs Crash Into Two Downtown Markets; Multiple Victims Hospitalized

Two crashes by out of control, red light running and speeding SUVs have recently plagued food stores in Downtown New Haven, near Yale University.

Image from the January 12th crash and reporting below from NHRegister. Updates will be posted here.

NEW HAVEN, 1/12/12 - One person was hospitalized after a two vehicle crash sent a Jeep into the front of a convenience store. The accident happened just before noon at the corner of George and Day streets. The impact sent soda and toilet paper flying from shelves inside Cecilia's Market at 539 George Street.

An earlier report from the New Haven Independent:

New Haven, 12/7/2011:

Police have concluded that the driver of a pick-up was responsible for an early Wednesday morning crash that led firefighters to rescue a woman trapped inside a Jeep that smashed into the new Elm City Market co-op on Chapel Street.

The crash occurred around 6:30 a.m. The driver of a Dodge Ram was traveling south on State Street when he ran a red light, according to police spokesman Officer David Hartman. He hit a Jeep whose driver had been traveling west on Chapel Street.

The crash sent the Jeep “crashing and spinning” over the sidewalk on Chapel into a bus shelter, Hartman said. Then it crashed into a door and window at the Elm City Market. The woman was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, as were the two drivers, according to Gambardella.