Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Death Comes To Ditmars

NOT THAT ANYONE in the Greater Blogosphere is likely to care or shed a tear, but let it be noted that at 7:30 this very morning a City sanitation worker was struck and killed by a truck just a few short blocks from where I live. When I met my brother at around 8 this morning for coffee at the Bagel Shoppe, he told me that the area around 35th Street and Ditmars Blvd. was blocked off with cop cars. He thought a sanitation truck had hit someone, but later I found out that a 41-year-old garbageman was hit and then pinned between two trucks, and was pronounced D.O.A. at Mt. Sinai, the local hospital, leaving behind as they say a wife and two young kids. Just another death by motor vehicle in a City quite inured to and even tolerant of them.

I always said that if mob hit men were smart (a stretch, granted, but play along), their best bet would be just running over the intended victim. As long as you're not intoxicated, let's face it, no one does hard time in this city for killing a pedestrian or cyclist. In any case, the odds are against it. Last year, according to Streetsblog, "Of the 66 pedestrians, seven cyclists and one wheelchair user known to have died since January, in only 12 cases was the driver reportedly charged for taking a life." Why the hell would you go through the elaborate ritual of stalking a guy and pumping a few bullets into him. And of course if you use an SUV as the "weapon" of choice, the chances of anyone surviving a collision are few and far between. Just get behind the wheel like you usually do, tune everything out, pump up the tunes, crank it up to 70 and BAM! the guy's history. Shoot, you can probably even be texting or sexting or carrying on a cell conversation while you do the deed; most you'll get is a meager fine. The police don't seem to prioritize moving violations for the most part in the City under the all-important guise of keeping the precious traffic rolling along; after all, there'll be plenty of chances to fill the city coffers later when you're caught double-parking.

I have my own rather
draconian yet I think fair and indeed necessary solutions when it comes to assholes caught talking on cell phones while driving that involve not only a 90-day suspended license right on the spot but also more far more fitting penance for such selfish behavior -- i.e., violators being forced to pull rickshaws full of obese tourists around the Theater District for a like duration. Because from what I've heard, your conversations suck anyway, so put the damn phone down or pull over and, for chrissakes (as my father used to say), if it's not too much trouble, pay some attention while operating your 2-ton metallic monstrosity. I mean, is it too much for you to live in the moment, to interact with what's in front of you for a change?

Fill 'er up, Draco!


jimithegreek said...


Nazz Nomad said...

For many years, I lived a block away from "the boulevard of death" aka Queens Blvd. New York- it ain't for the weak.

The Warden said...

Queens Blvd. was always an adventure: the walk sign gets you about halfway across the street and then it's a crapshoot if you make it to the other side. And Manhattan even if you have the light it's no picnic to walk anymore.

Nazz Nomad said...

i wanted to let you know of some sites i have seen that have pub jobs in edit:

(those two are aggregators)


hope that helps!

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