In A New York, New York State Of Mindless
Something crawled out of the bowels of Mayor de Blasio’s Department Of Transportation not long ago that shouldn’t bode well for this city. Or state. Or this nation and planet and society at large. It is an incredible and retarded study about how citizens habitual cellphone usage while walking on these busy streets is not hazardous.
Seriously guys and dolls:
Texting, checking email, Googling that restaurant across the street or just looking for your destination on a map factored in just two pedestrian deaths from 2014 to 2017, says a report by the city Department of Transportation.
Those two deaths were just a drop in the bucket compared to the 534 pedestrians who were killed on city streets during the four-year span.
One of the cell phone users killed in a car crash during the study period was texting, and the other was reaching for a device dropped in the street, DOT researchers found.
“DOT found little concrete evidence that device-induced distracted walking contributes significantly to pedestrian fatalities and injuries,” the eight-page report states.
A better way to improve pedestrian safety and save lives is cracking down on dangerous drivers, the DOT report says.
As smartphones rapidly grew in popularity, state lawmakers in 2017 passed a law requiring the DOT to look into “distracted walking.”
Though the DOT found the legislature’s concern was a non-issue, its report noted that the city is campaigning to encourage young people to be alert as they cross the street.
But the real problem, the DOT said in the report released Friday, is speeding cars.
“The best way to address distracted walking, and all forms of distraction, is by creating a road environment focused on speed management — where vehicles are traveling at a safe speed so that crashes can be avoided, and when crashes do occur they are not fatal or severe,” the report said.
Not even not much of hazard. Nothing to fear or fret to repress you from typing vapid texts you can just verbally tell someone on the actual original function of the cellphone. No symbolic meteor like a car or a bike, a street gang or a yelling crazed derelict coming your way crashing your social network universe feeding as you post a photo on Instagapchat or troll some message on Twitter, Facebook or Reddit. Zero.
Funny I mentioned zero, because this report was written in association with de Blasio’s ineffective Vision Zero program for safe streets that has not prevented zero deaths or accidents at all.
The report itself is incomplete since it spuriously compares cellphone accident data with regular vehicular and pedestrian accidents and looks like it was gathering dust somewhere for a while since it was completed in 2017 and the data compiling cellphone usage accidents only goes up to 2015 and despite the low amount of fatalities tabulated, they actually went up. But it does point out cellphone addicts utter irresponsibility feeding their texting and continuing scofflaw pedestrian habits by not paying attention to signals. It also devotes a few pages to what the city does best, producing PSA videos, awareness campaigns and vibrant social events to promote awareness, which is the only thing this city seems to excel at.
The reason for releasing this study 2 years later is not only because of the usual delaying of information concerning the citizenry that has been expected of the de Blasio administration but because of the city’s redesigning of the streets to “calm” vehicular traffic. Everything about this study puts the onus of responsibility on the driver instead of the cellphone junkie who can’t put the goddamn phone down for even a second. Imagine you’re driving approaching a stop sign and once you think it’s clear, some imbecile materializes with little white sticks in his or her ears while diddling on their screen keyboard to test your defensive driving skills and your brakes.
As the study attests (and the sensationalist way the NY Daily News reports it) this could lead to cordoned off lanes and street corridors strictly for walking cellphone usage. This shouldn’t warrant any city planning that might get inspired by it, although it looks like it already has. What else can explain the justification for the all the LinkNYC kiosks and wifi in the subways and buses? Maybe NYC has a plan to build utopian villages reliant on oblivious cellphone navigation, like what Google’s trying to do in Toronto with their frightening Quayside project (or even in the newly christened Hudson Square on Soho’s west side).
It isn’t like nobody is aware of what the streets look like these days when you compare it to just a decade ago. 99% of the citizenry owns a cellphone and possibly 98% of commuters just can’t put it down. And you wanna bet that the people who did this study consist of them too? Especially the corrupt moron mayor and his equally oblivious cult of over 300 staffers and aides. Along with the editors of the NY Daily News who did this story. There must be a bias and a collective guilty conscience going on here.
Surely the main reason this study was recently put out besides the aforementioned theories concocted in this post is that the more people are on their cellphones, which the city hopes will be even more now that the DOT are telling them they are not responsible for their addiction, is that as long as people are on their phones, the web services will continue to make billions from advertising that will be viewed by the celly fiends then from the data revenue produced by and will easily usurp from them.
The cellphone junkies of all ages, while not strung out or filthy, are no different than addicts of meth, heroin, crack, coke or opioid pills; they all selfish people who prioritize their needs and wander around in a hazy daze. Sure not that many celly fiends are getting killed now, but just wait for it. Then when some imbecile is texting some banal shit to his acquaintance or on the twitter, or watching an amazon show or playing a app game and then gets clobbered by an approaching car, train or bike then you will see the inevitable clusterfuck belated outrage of city officials suddenly decrying cellphone overuse. Followed up by a new old study critical of it too.
Until then, and if there are people reading this walking right now, pick your stupid fucking head up and read it later when you’re sitting on your ass.
And to deBlasio’s DOT, why don’t you do a study regarding pedestrian and accident data on walking and chewing gum since you’re gonna waste our time trying to normalize stupid behavior like this?