Yesterday, an SUV fatally struck Hugo Jansen as he crossed Fourth Avenue near 46th Street. The grandfather was, said witnesses, crossing against the light.* I would venture to say most in the neighborhood have. It’s cold. It’s a busy time of year. We all want to rush home.
At the risk of editorializing, I’d like to ask everyone to wait for the walk signal.
It’s not easy to do–who waits for the signal in New York?–but it may save your life.
Writing about death in Sunset Park, or anywhere, is tragic. Two men shot by a sixteen-year-old in the Park. An unsolved double homicide. A knife fight turned fatal. A Thanksgiving day shooting. Reporting on young men killing one another, one wonders, as Inspector Pintos of the 72nd wonders, what can be done to help defuse this violence.
Hugo Janseen’s death has an easier solution. There is never an excuse to hit someone whatever the light says, nor for not stopping (running only harshens the penalty)–but the fatal accident does remind me of the efficacy of everyday caution.
Fourth Avenue is wide, its cars fast. The pedestrian signal is infrequent and brief. Community Board 7 has already flagged the boulevard’s broad crossing and narrow median as an issue in the neighborhood. Please, particularly on these short winter days when night falls early, look both ways, and then think twice, when crossing the street.
*A report from ABC News disputes the claim that Jansen crossed against the light, stating the SUV ran a red. Either way, the caution stands.