Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pedestrians Beware - Danger lurks on 4 wheels and 2

The late Mr. Gruskin

Contributing blogger and Pedestrian Saftey Advocate Jack Brown who resides in the Lower East Side of Manhattan shares this news with CCRC readers. Jack is pushing for intro 624, and he's far from being alone. Many pedestrian safety advocacy groups have signed on to The Coalition Against Rogue Riding, whose main goal is "responsible enforcement leads to responsible cycling". We applaud Jack for his remarkable energy and persistence in bringing about a City wide change.

We acknowledge the carnage of automobile related deaths that occur throughout the City and have actively sought out solutions within the Chinatown area, one of the most dangerous areas in all of the five boros due to vehicular traffic.

CCRC continues to advise, advocate, and assist in improving traffic conditions in our area. As recently as last month CCRC was acknowledged for being the catalyst to get the Parks Dept. to get its own vehicles off of Columbus Park sidewalks, and away from children's playgrounds - a formerly chronic condition, allowed to fester had it not been for CCRC's persistence, and Park's Commissioner Adrian Benepe's personal intervention.

While we work hard towards a reduction in automobile accidents, we must also acknowledge and advocate for enforcement of cycling laws. We are fortunate to have Jack Brown , an avid cyclist, former bike shop owner, and L.E.S. resident to lead the way toward responsible enforcement and responsible cycling.

C.A.R.R. will soon have its own blog, we will link it when it is live.

On Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 1:21 PM, Jack Brown wrote:

On April 28th, as he was crossing Fifth Avenue and 43rd St ,Mr.Stuart Gruskin, age 50, a popular Sr.VP of Valuation Research was struck by delivery rider Alfredo Geraldo who was riding east on the one way west bound 43rd St. Mr.Gruskin was knocked down and sufferred head injuries. Subsequently, although at first he spoke coherently at Cornell-Weill hospital, he succumbed to swelling of the brain on May 1.

Geraldo wore no helmet.The bike he was riding had no brakes and no lights.This is all the catering company who employed Geraldo has been charged with . Geraldo has vanished.
The fact that Mr.Gruskin died as a result of his injuries is relatively rare.According to the statistics published in the Daily News 11 pedestrians were killed between 1996-2005.However numerous people have been hit and close calls are too many to mentione.The number may approach the figures on the bank bailout from the financial crisis.

Mr.Gruskin grew up in New York City and graduated from NYU's Stern School of business.He was married to his wife for sixteen years and they had twins age 13.Mrs. Gruskin has filed a 20 million dollar lawsuit against the catering company that employed Geraldo. Mrs. Gruskin also is in the process of setting up a foundation that will address the issue that took her husband's life. She intends to honor him by dedicating herself to addressing the issue that took his life. Mr.Gruskin's organs were donated to help others live after his death.

CARR- Coaltion Against Rogue Riding has been in touch with Mrs. Gruskin We intend to move forward together to address our mutual goal of safer streets and sidewalks. At this point one goal is the advancement of Intro #624 also known as the" vicarious liability" bill -this would make a business owner financially liable for the infractions of a delivery agent-which is currently held up in the Transportation Committee of the City Council.This committee is chaired by Councilman John Liu. Mr.Liu and Council Speaker Christine Quinn are responsible for bring legislative matters to the floor for a Hearing and vote.
Inquires on the part of CARR in the past have resulted in either no response from the two offices or political equivocating.The death of Mr.Gruskin might have been prevented if this bill had already been passed and the approapriate enforcement on the part of the NYPD been in effect.
CARR looks forward to working with Mrs. Nancy Gruskin.She understands that sometimes a movement needs a person who has sacrificed for the cause. It may not be what her family would have chosen ,but given what fate has given ,they are taking the opportunity to render a service to the entire population of this city and all the visitors who pass through the streets and sidewalks.
One bit of irony. When Transporatation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced on July 8th that New York city could become the bike capital of the world the Gruskin family formerly entered the lawsuit.If that goal is eventually achieved New York city will likely have the Gruskin family to thank.
Jack Brown
Coalition Against Rogue Riding

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