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admin 08.05.2015

West 57th Street, looking westbound, where an MTA bus driver killed Rochel Wahrman this morning. The fatally injured woman was on her knees, leaning up against the bus, in the moments following the crash, witnesses said. She had her head bowed down… she wasn’t moving,” said Shams Sheikh, 56, manager of a nearby newsstand. DNAinfo and JP Updates cited police sources who said Wahrman was jaywalking and that the bus driver had the right of way. Wahrman was at least the second person struck by an express bus driver in Midtown in eight days. If you think the reason is to protect pedestrians then I have a bridge (without a dedicated transit lane) to sell you. This blog has only the following info about the incident: the location, the time, and the participants.
If you drive a reasonable speed, you can use your peripheral vision to look for potential obstacles. Correct, our society has decided that the fast and efficient movement of traffic is an important value, important enough that even a few lost lives is a price worth paying, and as a full time pedestrian who has never even learned to drive, I agree with that decision. One of the photos on JP Updates shows men cleaning what appears to be the front left wheel of the bus that ran over this woman. That’s because you can be assured that the people who die are almost certainly not going to be you or anyone you care about. I am a NYC pedestrian, and thus have jaywalked plenty of times, but I do so only when I have done everything in my observational powers to not be in the way of traffic, because I understand that motorists have the ability to use the roads as well, and that in a collision between me and a two ton vehicle moving at 20 MPH, I lose. Spotting objects within inches of your left front wheel is probably hardest on a bus like that. If we really start to think about our streets as trading human lives for motorist convenience then maybe we will start to feel a little bit of moral responsibility about it. To me, once you open up a street to cars, you invariably have to limit access to pedestrians, because humans walking at 3-5 MPH on the same street as vehicles travelling at much faster speed safely isn’t going to work, not with those vehicles being controlled by human beings, who are terribly fallible.
I support expanding the realm of pedestrians, creating more pedestrian plazas, more crossings in which pedestrians have the right of way, and cutting off vehicular traffic on narrow streets, like in the financial district – but 57th Street is a main thoroughfare and it makes sense to cede it to cars and to limit pedestrian access so that vehicular traffic can move crosstown in an efficient and timely manner. She didn’t notice the light turned green and the car in front of the bus started to move? 1) There is a moral picture around everything; the only difference is if we choose to acknowledge the moral framework in which we are operating. 2) That the bus driver killed the woman and that the media blamed the victim are also both statements of fact. As for your cyclist example, if the cyclist is killed by the incident due to head injuries, then their lack of a helmet is a very relevant fact, just as if a motorist is killed in an accident and it turns out they were not wearing a seatbelt. I completely disagree with your claim that there is some implicit moral framework around everything – individuals have a choice on using language objectively or subjectively.

My point about cyclists was that the helmet is often mentioned regardless of the cause of death, as if it would have done something to protect you when you’re under the wheel of a truck (not to mention the dearth of evidence about actually preventing head injury). Jaywalking is an inherently pejorative term coined by the automobile industry to re-frame the purpose of streets as primarily for the throughput of motor vehicle traffic (again, a moral claim that has become so normalized as to seem neutral).
Even when the average speed on a street is low, it only takes a few seconds for vehicles to accelerate to dangerous speeds when a gap in traffic presents itself.
Assuming the reporting is correct, Rochel Wahrman did something wrong, contributing to her death. Incidentally, on Friday, I crossed the street outside of the crosswalk – because a bus was blocking the entire width of the crosswalk during the entire pedestrian walk phase.
San Francisco has had a number of collisions with pedestrians being struck by buses and light-rail cars.
Word On The Street “The entire area around the Botanical Garden is a pedestrian nightmare, and unfortunately, the institution has shown no interest in improving safety.
There were no reports of how fast the driver was going, or how he failed to see Wahrman in the street. On August 12, a BxM9 driver seriously injured a man with a cane on Fifth Avenue at 56th Street.
As far as I can tell from the pictures, that bus was doing what buses are supposed to do — move forward in a straight line, within a lane. As a pedestrian interested in public policy this moralistic nonsense is no better than what it accuses everyone else of doing, including DNA Info. I can’t speak to the specifics of this event, but anyone walking through NYC has seen people who basically walk into speeding traffic, expecting the world to part traffic in front of them. Bravo, sinking the discussion to such depths so quickly is quite an accomplishment, though at least you did not go Godwin. Different modes of transit have their uses, and while I am a pedestrian, I don’t think the needs of others (and having through streets in which a vehicle and move at speeds higher than 5 MPH is not a mere convenience) should be ignored for my own, or those of other pedestrians. The facts that one chooses to report are indicative of the moral framework from which they are operating, just as it is in the case of other news media. I didn’t see what happened but its worth noting it took place basically exactly mid-block.
That as an individual you disagree about that being a violation does not change that – it does not make an objective statement suddenly subjective.
Especially when average speeds are low do drivers become aggravated enough to slam the gas pedal down and speed through the intersection when there is room to accelerate through the intersection. But it just seems unlikely, especially by a bus, at that hour, on that particular stretch of 57th. It happened just moments before I walked by and the shocked horror on the faces of witnesses was enough for me to decide not to look at the corpse still on the street.
It is not absolute or universal to be sure, but there is undoubtedly a collective sense of values that inform a societal consciousness.

Does this mean that we shouldn’t bother to ask whether anybody else (such as the bus driver or a van driver) might have also done something wrong that might have also contributed to her death?
Traffic deaths investigation is the only government investigation I know where results are released to the media before the investigation is complete, but not after the investigation is complete.
57th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue south to north when the driver of a westbound X5 hit her with the left side of the bus, according to reports. If Wahrman was crossing south to north, she would have walked across two lanes, approaching the middle of the street from the bus driver’s left, before she was hit.
Things are far more likely to pop in front of you form the sides than to magically appear in front of you from the heavens. Neither would my friend, but it is them that took the dangerous action when it was not necessary. No, I did it for convenience, because at that point violating the rules of the road in a manner that would not put my life or anyone else’s in danger was seen as the lesser evil of having to walk a greater distance of having to wait to have the right of way. I think people assuming that is highly problematic because they then view the actions and words of others using what they presume to be the normative moral framework, never once realizing that the other person does not in fact share that moral framework and is in fact using a completely different one.
Wahrman has already been punished for her error, but that doesn’t mean that nobody else was also at fault. Often the victim is tossed or dragged 20-30 feet and the bus comes to a stop at a considerable distance from the impact point.
In the second story mentioned about a previous incident DNA info included the testimony of a witness who blamed the victim, but again, can’t present to evidence that this statement was wrong. However, by calling attention to such an irrelevant detail, they are implicitly blaming the victim. It is impossible to get an accurate idea of the conditions of this specific incident without pointing out that the woman was not crossing at a crosswalk, given that the incident happened in the middle of the street. I also would find it hard to believe that anyone could have been speeding because 57th St at that hour, is a crawl. I walk this route regularly at that hour and it’s always faster to walk than to take the bus.
To leave out that detail is to deny the reader a clear understanding of the facts of the case.
It is important to place these assumptions on equal footing and understand that none of them are inherently neutral.

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