Save our seniors! Beep wants crossing guards to help oldsters

The Brooklyn Paper
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Crossing guards aren’t just for kids anymore!

Brooklyn’s senior citizen population will be able to live even longer if a plan to let the city’s army of crossing guards leave their posts after the morning school rush and head to high-traffic geezer areas to help old-timers cross dangerous intersections comes to fruition.

Borough President Adams says the plan to turn the street-traffic controllers into full-time employees would extend the lives of those that move slower and don’t have the eyesight they used to, and many seniors agree.

“It’s a big issue for us,” said 72-year-old Clinton Hill resident Dorothy Howard. “Seniors will feel safer with someone helping them.”

Two-hundred-and-two people aged 65 and up were killed by cars in Brooklyn between 2003 and 2012, according to a study conducted by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a regional car-critic group. Adams claims the new plan will help get that number down.

The cross-walk workers put in around 20 hours per week, and make an average of $15,000 a year, according to the union that represents them. And with new contracts about to be negotiated, a union head said this plan is a chance for guards to cash in while lending a helping hand.

“This initiative would get them more hours,” said Donald Nesbit, vice president of the municipal employee union’s local chapter. “It will help them out, it will also help out seniors.”

The plan, announced by Adams ahead of a lunch honoring Brooklyn seniors at Borough Hall on Thursday, would move the school crossing guards from their normal posts to intersections near nursing homes and senior centers while kids are in class.

“School crossing guards can become senior crossing guards,” said Adams.

He also said he would like to see more guards on the streets if possible. There are currently 883 borough–wide, his office said.

The beep wants his plan to be included under the city’s “Vision Zero” initiative, which hopes to reduce pedestrian fatalities to zero. The plan for that initiative cites being struck by a vehicle as the second-leading cause of injury–related death for seniors. And it notes they account for 33 percent of pedestrian fatalities.

Adams is sending letters to the mayor and to the police commissioner asking them to consider using the guards to help, and says for Brooklyn oldsters, it could be a matter of life and death.

“We want to continue to have the highest number of seniors that live to be over 100,” Adams said. “And they can’t do that if they’re being struck by vehicles.”

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Zero Vision says:
Much better idea than giving the elderly Jay Walking tickets like what was going on a few months ago.
Aug. 25, 2014, 5:17 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Some people like to be kept like pets.
Aug. 25, 2014, 6:47 am
Common Cents from Crown Heights says:
This idea, unlike Vision Zero deals with actually preventing fatalities not just raising revenue. Running red lights and speeding don't even account for the top causes of pedestrian/cyclist fatalities. They don't even account for the top three moving violation summonses in NYC. Disobeying signs, no seat belts and cellphones are the top three summonses in NYC. None of which revenue raising cameras deals with. Speeding is 4th and failure to stop at a signal (red light) is 8th. In July there were 7 pedestrian/cyclist deaths due to collisions, 3 were due to failure to yield the right of way, 2 were not categorized (1 involved a bus), 1 was driver distraction and the last was speeding.
Aug. 25, 2014, 7:17 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Local 372, the Crossing Guards Union thanks you!
Aug. 25, 2014, 8:38 am
Jim from Ditmas Park says:
I love how red light and speeding enforcement is considered "just for revenue" by so many. (Not just you "Common Cents.")

It's ridiculous. I know a perfect way to avoid The Man taking your money -- Don't speed and Don't run red lights.

By the way, CC, since the NYPD barely writes any tickets, using those statistics is hardly persuasive. On my 5-block stroll to the subway this morning, the police could have written 1 red light ticket and 5 or 6 speeding tickets but there were none written.
Aug. 25, 2014, 9:23 am
Alan from Crown Heights says:
Y'know, in my 10 years as a licensed driver, I've gotten exactly 1 parking ticket and no moving violations, even in jurisdictions with red-light cameras. It's pretty easy to avoid those by

Also, 'Common Cents', are you seriously suggesting that enforcement priorities should be determined by prior enforcement priorities? Simple physics dictate that a pedestrian being hit by a car moving at high speed is more likely to die (2x more likely at 30mph vs. 25mph, and far worse at high speeds), and thus that speeding laws should be strictly enforced in pedestrian-heavy areas like Brooklyn.
Aug. 25, 2014, 10:02 am
Common Cents from Crown Heights says:
When you look at studies done in other areas such as LA, urban NC, Virginia etc, they show these cameras don't reduce traffic collisions or reduce the number of fatalities. In fact intersections with RLC have an increase in rear end collisions, in many of the studies this was because transportation officials also shortened yellow lights when they put them up. If the DoT was serious about preventing fatalities in addition to all way red light clearance they would take a look at intersections with high numbers of collisions and adjust the lights accordingly. For example, if you are walking east/west on Utica and Glenwood (were a pedestrian was killed a year ago) you have 20 seconds to cross 4 lanes, but if you cross north/south on Sterling at Flatbush you get 55 seconds to cross 1 lane of traffic.
Aug. 25, 2014, 11:07 am
Epiphany from Ex-Brookyn says:
Even an interesting program like this should be looked at with a grain of salt when proposed by a sleazy politician like Eric Adams, under multiple corruption probes.

Apparently a very well-off ex cop, he wanted to offer a $3000 reward to bring to justice regarding "the terrorists" who swapped pieces of cloth on the Brooklyn Bridge. Since he's got money to throw around, why doesn't he seed fund it himself?
Aug. 25, 2014, 11:39 am
Bob Marvin from PLG says:
I don't really want any crossing guards "helping" me.
Aug. 25, 2014, 12:20 pm
Kelly from Cobble Hill says:
"High traffic geezers"? You guys are sick. The elderly deserve our respect, not ridicule.
Aug. 26, 2014, 5:35 am
ty from pps says:
Kelly -- Take a breath.

Anyway, the quote is "high-traffic geezer area." It's pretty amusing actually. How many old folks do you think are offended by such a phrase? I guess they don't have to, since they have Kelly to be outraged on their behalf?
Aug. 26, 2014, 8:48 am
John from Williamsburg says:
This is the second article this month to refer to senior citizens as "geezers." This shows a lack of professionalism, insufficient editing and an inability to produce legitimate journalism.
Aug. 26, 2014, 12:28 pm
TOM from Sunset Park says:
Whenever I pass an on-duty crossing guard I thank her for just doing her job.
Aug. 26, 2014, 6:49 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
Geezers are men. What about the old bags? ...Seriously, it is disrespectful.
Aug. 27, 2014, 8:22 am

Comments closed.

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