Public Housing Kids More Likely To Be Struck By Cars

Metro NY | January 19, 2012

By Alison Bowen

Just days after a 12-year-old girl was killed on Delancey Street, that road was highlighted in a report revealing that children near public housing are more likely to be hit by cars.

On Manhattan’s East Side, for example, 9 out of 10 top intersections for crashes that killed or injured children were near public housing developments, according to a Transportation Alternatives report released on Thursday.

Dashane Santana, 12, was killed Friday on Delancey Street when a van hit her on her way home from school. Santana, who lived in the Jacob Riis II Houses, was bending down to pick up her book bag when she was fatally struck.

“Dangerous driving has a startlingly disproportionate impact on children in Manhattan’s low-income communities,” said Transportation Alternatives Director Paul Steely White.

The report theorized some of the reasons why: Sprawling layouts of public housing might mean more people crossing between blocks and public housing is often located near roads that may attract speeding drivers.

Transportation Alternatives suggested that the NYPD issue more speeding tickets in areas near public or low-income housing.

In East Harlem, children are about 30 percent of the population, but 43 percent of crash victims, the report found. In contrast, on the Upper East Side, children are fewer than 15 percent of crash victims.

Trouble spots

The deadliest intersection for children is in East Harlem at East 125th Street and Lexington Avenue.
According to Transportation Alternatives, 20 crashes injured 34 children and killed one at that corner between 1995 and 2009.

Other crashes where children were hit include 125th Street and Park Avenue, and along Second Avenue in Harlem, at 122nd and 124th streets. Delancey and Houston streets were highlighted as having several intersections where kids were killed.