2019年12月17日 星期二

N.Y. Today: Jarring Images, Safer Streets

What you need to know for Tuesday.

Jarring Billboards’ Goal: To Prevent Pedestrian Deaths

It’s Tuesday.

Weather: Expect rain and a chance of sleet, with icy conditions in the suburbs in the morning. Temperatures in the mid- to upper 30s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Dec. 25 (Christmas).


New York City Department of Transportation

A car in an intersection. A driver distraught. A baby stroller on its side.

It’s a nightmarish scenario that city officials hope will help save lives.

The image is one part of a new ad campaign to promote Vision Zero, the driving safety initiative that New York City credits with reducing pedestrian fatalities. All the ads show damaged cars and a tormented driver after a crash, with the words, “Was it worth it?”


The details

The campaign’s first billboard was posted in Washington Heights on Friday, just days after a Ford pickup truck hit a mother who was pushing her 3-year-old son in a stroller in another Manhattan neighborhood, near First Avenue and East 116th Street in East Harlem.

The toddler, Bertin DeJesus, was killed. He was the sixth child pedestrian to be killed in 2019, city data showed.

The ads — some will include strollers, others will put the focus on pedestrians and crumpled vehicles — will be posted in various languages throughout the city, and officials said they hoped the reminders would help reduce the number of crashes. Some billboards will show a stroller that has been hit by a vehicle.

Every ad includes a male driver wrestling with the calamity of his actions.

The data

The number of pedestrian fatalities has dropped since Mayor de Blasio started Vision Zero in 2014, his first year in office. That year, there were 140 pedestrian fatalities, down from 184 the prior year, according to the city.

By 2017, there were 107 pedestrian fatalities. Last year, there were 115.

Bertin was the 104th pedestrian to be killed by a vehicle in 2019, compared with 101 in the same period last year.


The precedent

For years, New York City has used arresting imagery in public service announcements. A man who had his larynx removed and spoke through an artificial voice box appeared in antismoking ads in 2007.

Images of newborns, with quivering lips and tearful eyes, popped up in 2013 as part of the Human Resources Administration’s push to curb teen pregnancy.

And in 1991, to address the city’s rat problem, an eerie, black-and-white ad ran on television. It had no words. It was directed by the filmmaker David Lynch.


Explore news from New York and around the region

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

What we’re reading

New York City Housing Authority woes, including lead and repair problems, began under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. [The City]

Will Representative Peter King’s retirement open the door for Rick Lazio’s return to public office? [Wall Street Journal]

Governor Cuomo’s politically divisive Mother Cabrini statue will have a site with a view of the Statue of Liberty. [CBS]

Coming up today

Watch “Film Navidad: Christmas Movies Made by Comedians” at UnionDocs in Brooklyn. 7:30 p.m. [$13]

A screening of “Decade of Fire” includes a conversation with the filmmaker Vivian Vázquez Irizarry at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Manhattan. 6:30 p.m. [Free with R.S.V.P.]

Hear peculiar stories about art, history and science in “Odd Salon NYC: Oddments” at the Kraine Theater in Manhattan. 7 p.m. [$20]

— Melissa Guerrero

Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.

And finally: A great but tainted basketball team

The Times’s Corey Kilgannon writes:

New York City is not known for producing collegiate athletic powerhouses.

An exception was the basketball team fielded in 1950 by City College in Harlem — the only basketball team to ever win two national championships in the same season, the National Invitation Tournament and the N.C.A.A. men’s basketball championship.

At the time, the Beavers were remarkable, too, for their diversity. The team’s players were all either Jewish or black — just a few years after Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers and broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier.

But they also became implicated in a citywide cheating case scandalous enough to force Mayor William O’Dwyer out of office.

Gamblers with pre-established point spreads bribed seven City College players to shave points, even while winning their games.

A new book — Matthew Goodman’s “The City Game: Triumph, Scandal, and a Legendary Basketball Team” (Ballantine, $29) — chronicles the scheme, in which the players received a few thousand dollars for their efforts.

One player, Floyd Lane, received $3,000, which he kept hidden in a flowerpot at home.

“It was a quick flash of cash,” recalled Mr. Lane, now 90 and living in the Bronx. “I was just going along with my guys. I was just told to play my game and that’s what I did.”

It’s Tuesday — keep your head in the game.

Metropolitan Diary: Ticket Talk

Dear Diary:

I was trying to buy tickets to “Slave Play,” and there was a problem with completing my order online. I called an 800 number to resolve the issue.

The woman who answered was very helpful and we had a friendly, chatty exchange. Before completing the transaction she read me a warning: This play contains violence, sexual scenes, nudity, simulated sex, racism and violence.

There was a pause.

“Excellent,” I said quietly.

We both started to laugh.

— Bob Lohrmann

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