Upper West Side: Nightmare Death Grid for City Olds

"'You have to be very careful,' said Mrs. Asen, who has lived for more than three decades in Lincoln-Amsterdam House on West End Avenue near 65th Street. 'You just don't know when the light is going to change and you can be stranded in the street.' Mrs. Asen is one of more than 200 elderly residents of the Upper West Side who took part in a yearlong study about pedestrian safety in their neighborhood, where 13 percent of the population is over 65. Armed with maps and disposable cameras, a small armada of those men and women were dispatched to document specific dangers on their streets." An armada of the undead! Ack!

"Another resident who helped conduct the study was Gloria Verdell, a retired office manager, who walked along West End Avenue on a recent afternoon and pointed out various hazards she had recorded. One was on the corner of West End Avenue and 64th Street, where a pool of murky water collects after a downpour.

"The worst, she said, was at the intersection of West End Avenue and 65th Street near her building, where the lights were timed in a way that had people feeling they had just seconds to cross the street. 'Before, I could run across the street,' Ms. Verdell said. 'At this point, I'm not running anywhere. I don't want to slow-poke. I just want to get across the street without being afraid.'" [NYT]

Wusses. My neighborhood is cut across by Queens Boulevard-happily nicknamed "The Boulevard of Death"-where time-stunned Methuselahs traverse ten lanes of angry traffic all day long and every hundred feet or so is marked with a sign reading "A PEDESTRIAN WAS KILLED HERE". And when they get to the other side, they stand still with their mouths agape in every doorway of every store.