Monday, September 8, 2008

Intersection Where Boy Died in Downtown Brooklyn One of City's Most Dangerous

An 8-year-old boy known as the "little professor" was struck and killed by a mail truck Saturday while biking on Boerum Place/ Adams Street with his father, a college professor. A memorial with flowers, a little Teddy Bear and messages of condolence has appeared at the corner of Boerum Place and Livingston Street, attached to a sign behind a mailbox.

According to the Brooklyn Heights Blog and the Daily News, little Alexander Toulouse, who attended P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill, was riding just a few feet behind his dad when the Postal Service truck hit him while making a right onto Livingston Street (shown above) about 2:15 p.m. Saturday.

The driver of the mail truck "appeared devastated," according to the News.

A commenter on the Brooklyn Heights Blog brought our attention to Crashstat which compiles pedestrian and bike safety statistics for the city.

On the map shown here, the blue dots represent pedestrian injuries and the red bicyclist injuries. (Illustrations of walking men represent pedestrian deaths; bicycles show bicyclist deaths.) The stats show an unusually large number of both pedestrian and bicyclist injuries at the intersection and several of the surrounding intersections, and a pedestrian death just short distance from the intersection.

The bike lane that runs along Boerum Place/ Adams Street has always been totally disregarded by the cars and trucks that barrel along the street.

UPDATE: The Brooklyn Eagle reports on a virtual barrage of pedestrian carnage in the Downtown Brooklyn area: "Shockingly, statistics compiled and mapped by Transportation Alternatives . . . show that motor vehicles struck 39 people -- 28 pedestrians and 11 bicyclists -- at the very intersection where Alexander was killed, in the 10-year period from 1995 to 2005." More here.

Photos by MK Metz

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suek said...

This is a sad and devestating tragedy - I walk across that road several times a day while taking my son to Brooklyn Friends School on Pearl St. The traffic and chaos on Adams St. is shocking - cars driving fast and not adhereing properly to signals is an ongoing battle. When will something be done to protect pedestrians and cyclists trying to get around town???!!!
May little Alexander rest in peace and hopefully this tragic incident will bring some much needed attention to the traffic woes in downtown Brooklyn.

Philip said...

Now it's an 8 year old innocent and everyone rightly so gets upset. And a great tragedy it is. My condolences to the family. . .I can't imagine the pain that the family is feeling right now.

But I am angered by this accident. Downtown Brooklyn is not the downtown Brooklyn of 30 years ago or even 5 years ago. There are more pedestrians, more bicycles and certainly more vehicular traffic of all kinds. Yet the DOT, the city--whoever it is -- persists in keeping the old traffic rules that were cobbled together since there have been vehicles on the roads in Brooklyn. Well the population has swelled incredibly fast and there needs to be a thorough examination of how we're all going to get around so that we're not killing each other. Maybe we need to stop having turns of any kind at the corner of Livingston & Boerum Place. All day & into the evening it's an endless stream of Buses and trucks. Maybe all the traffic has to stop while pedestrians and bicycles are allowed to go and vice versa. Maybe it's time for a central bus depot in a more convenient place. Maybe it's time to end all vehicular traffic except for certain hours through out the entire commercial area of downtown Brooklyn. (There is still a need for deliveries) Look Boerum to Adams St is a thoroughfare in & out of Brooklyn and it's a waste of gas to tie up the vehicles that just want to get in & out of Brooklyn. Perhaps tunneling is the answer if we're going to continue growing.

Crossing at almost every intersection in downtown Brooklyn is as dangerous as any crossings I've encountered in the many cities I've traveled through. Do we need more memorials? What a shame.

I don't pretend to have the answers but the time has come to start dealing with these issues as something that is not going away. This is a DOT, city, MTA, local government, policing & local commerce problem and something needs to be done. And together this is a governmental problem that needs to be solved for the benefit of all.

Majestic said...

My condolences to the family of the 8-year old boy. Pedestrians and Cyclists the like should be able to travel from point A to point B without this type of danger.

Some carriers loose focus as they rush to meet their time requirements posed upon them by their superiors, afraid to loose their jobs.

Something has got to give! They are trying to get our mail to us quickly. However, we would rather have LATE mail than DEAD children! Teach carriers safety 1st, even if it means being a few minutes late! Common sense goes a long way, and may even SAVE a LIFE!

CHANGE YOUR GOALS, FOCUS ON LIFE, and RE-TRAIN THE STAFF to do so as well! Your present goals are of no use, if our children are dying!

REST-IN-PEACE Alexander!

Anonymous said...

first let me send my condolences to the children also attend the same school and my oldest has taken the news as well as an eight yr old can take such news... my husband , children and i cross that very same spot daily... something needs to change in order for this NEVER to happen to another family

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I was saw this horrific incident. My deepest condolences go to Alexander's family. I have kept Alexander in my prayer's. Something needs to be done to prevent more tragedies. My heart goes out to Alexander and his family.