Two pedestrians were killed after cars collided in northern Manhattan’s Inwood neighborhood early Wednesday morning, just two days after New York City announced that speed cameras would operate around the clock to stem traffic fatalities.
Joel Adames, 31, of Manhattan, and David Fernandez, 40, of the Bronx, were killed after a BMW sedan traveling north on Sherman Avenue hit a Subaru moving south, the police said. The Subaru collided with two parked cars and struck the two men.
Mr. Adames was taken to Allen Pavilion Hospital and Mr. Fernandez (whose age the police originally gave as 32) was taken to Harlem Hospital. The drivers of the two vehicles remained at the scene, the police said. They did not identify the drivers or say whether either had been charged in the deaths.
A memorial of white, yellow, red, green and pink candles had been set up at the intersection by late morning Wednesday.
The scene in north Manhattan has been repeated across New York City for decades as officials have wrestled with how to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. The intersection of West 207th Street and Sherman Avenue has been a particularly dangerous example of the deadly problem.
Over the past five years, 36 people have been injured there, including 12 pedestrians and two cyclists, according to a statement from Transportation Alternatives, a bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group. In 2021, a 22-year-old motorcyclist was killed on Sherman Avenue three blocks from the intersection at Dyckman Street, and a 68-year-old pedestrian was killed in 2017 two blocks away at Academy Street, a Transportation Alternatives spokesman said.
Mario Rodriguez, a music producer who lives in the neighborhood, said that loud and fast cars are ever-present along four-lane Sherman Avenue. In the year he has lived in the area, Mr. Rodriguez, 25, said he has seen two car accidents.
“There’s a long strip of the straight street, and a lot of people who have fast cars, they use this street to show off their cars, do doughnuts,” he said. “Even if you don’t see it, you can hear it.”
Mayoral administrations have grappled with reducing traffic fatalities across the city for years. Former Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would tame them when he took office. But he was still struggling to deliver by the end of his term last year.
In 2013, 184 pedestrians were killed on city streets, a number that had dropped to 94 by 2020, according to data from Vision Zero, the city’s traffic death initiative. That trend reversed last year, however, when traffic deaths surged to their highest in nearly a decade, with 125 pedestrians killed.
As of Aug. 1 this year, 60 pedestrians had been killed throughout New York City, according to city data. By comparison, 70 had died by this time in 2021.
Vision Zero, started under Mr. de Blasio in 2014, is aimed at eliminating serious traffic-related injuries and fatalities in New York City. The leading cause of injury-related deaths for children under the age of 14 is being struck by a vehicle, according to the city. Through a network of agencies and programs, like automated speed cameras, Vision Zero has been working to reduce fatalities on the city’s streets.
Days After N.Y. Speed Cameras Go Full-Time, Two Pedestrians Die in Crash