Vehicle Crashes Disproportionately Hit Children in Low-Income Areas: Report


Last week, a 12-year-old girl was struck and killed as she crossed Delancey Street on the Lower East Side, in an area that has a reputation for being dangerous for pedestrians.

Now, an advocacy group has said that this tragedy is part of an alarming trend — that young children in low-income neighborhoods are disproportionately at risk.

A report released yesterday by Transportation Alternatives, called “Child Crashes: An Unequal Burden,” suggests that crashes occur at a much higher rate in poorer neighborhoods.

The intersections where children are most often struck by drivers are concentrated near public housing and on the east side of Manhattan, the report says, adding that a pedestrian or bicycle crash victim in East Harlem is over three times more likely to be a child than on the Upper East Side.

The deadliest intersection for child crashes in the borough is 125th Street and Lexington Avenue, in East Harlem. Apparently, traffic is a leading cause of death for New York City children.

Transportation Alternatives has teamed up with City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito and a neighborhood group called Good Old Lower East Side to raise awareness about this disparity, according to a press release sent out yesterday. The groups have called on the city to better patrol these areas.

The report says that these patterns can be explained by disproportionate driver speeding on streets near public housing; increased mid-block crossing behavior due to the layout of the projects; and a greater population of children in these housing developments.