Thursday, March 27, 2014

[Updated] Report: Woman struck and killed by SUV this morning on 3rd Avenue and St. Mark's Place



An SUV struck and killed a woman this morning at 6:30 on Third Avenue near St. Mark's Place, according to published reports.

The Post named the victim as 47-year-old Lisa Julian, who was attempting to cross the Avenue from west to east.

The driver of the Ford Explorer works for a courier delivering newspapers and remained on the scene. He has not been charged in the accident collision.

Updated 3 p.m.

The Post has more details about Julian, describing her as a "punk rocker." The driver of the SUV also reportedly told police that she was walking against the light and that she didn't seem to be "paying attention."

Updated 4:45 p.m.

DNAinfo says that Julian lived on East Seventh Street and Avenue D.

Julian, who friends called Spike, was known around the neighborhood as "easy-going" with a punk rock flare.

"She used to wear spiky things and punk-rock stuff, spikes in her nose, spikes in her boots, spikes in her hair," her neighbor David Sosa said. "I would go to Tompkins Square Park and would see her around the music. She would roll on the floor and jump up and down."

Updated 7:01 p.m.

Here is a picture of Lisa/Spike with Biker Bill from Jan. 1, 2008, via Bob Arihood's Neither More Nor Less

42 comments:

Shawn G. Chittle said...

I'm there every morning: here's what happens: people don't know 3rd Ave is a two way street. They look at traffic, see its not coming, and they walk. Then they get caught in the street and get popped.

Shit happens all the time. I've physically PULLED people back from the street. Especially on the SE corner, where cars turn right onto St. Marks from 3rd Ave and cut the corner.

Anonymous said...

Shit.

moe said...

Yes Mr.Chittle is correct that crossing is tricky for people that are not hip to the unusual traffic pattern at that spot. I was once sitting on my motorcycle waiting for a light there and saw a guy get totally nailed by walking right into a bus that he had no idea was coming.

Anonymous said...

We don't know what happened here. Pedestrians aren't the only ones rushing unnecessarily, and if you're driving a 2-ton machine, in crashes like this your actions should be very carefully examined. Anybody who passes through that spot, as I unfortunately do twice a day, knows that running red lights and speeding is rampant on that stretch of 3rd Ave (and it's particularly awful one block down, on 3rd and E 7th St). The entire Cooper Union / Astor Pl area is a nightmare for pedestrians, so I hope DOT comes up with some real improvements in the impending redesign.

On another note, we don't know if this was an "accidental" crash or result of recklessness, so professionals suggest using the word "crash" or "incident" instead of "accident." "Crash encompasses a wider range of potential causes for vehicular crashes than does the term accident. A majority of fatal crashes are caused by intoxicated, speeding, distracted, or careless drivers and, therefore, are not accidents." (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12224806, one of the many examples of this argument)

Anonymous said...

Also, even NYPD has made the switch from "accident" to "collision" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/11/nyregion/collision-replacing-accident-for-nyc-police-traffic-crash-squad.html). I wish we could collectively do the same, to stop implying that there is no blame to be assigned. These tragedies usually don't just "happen."

nygrump said...

Everyone walks across these avenues before the lights change along St Marks, just as the last car jumps the red light right after it changes. I'm gonna contradict you guys and say I don't think its rocket science to know traffic goes both ways here. I don't know any other facts so I won't make any other assumptions. I'm the worse lemming, someone starts walking across and I go too without checking the light.

Anonymous said...

Cross at the green..not in-between.

Anonymous said...

Closest I have ever come to being mowed down was in that intersection, crossing 3rd ave east to west on the north side of st. Marks, in the crosswalk and with the walk sign. . A van was speeding from Astor place and trying make a left turn onto 3rd avenue. Even if a pedestrian knows the traffic pattern there well, there's not much you can do when someone speeds through making a turn and ignores pedestrians who are already in the middle of the intersection. I had to literally jump back three feet, just in the nick of time. I was shaken up all day long. Did the van stop? Of course not. And had he hit me, would he have been charged? Mostly likely not.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts and prayers to Lisa's friends and family

sam_the_man said...

Awful news. I feel for her friends and family.
I would like to say that I walk through Astor place multiple times every day. I'm always at least bemused and sometimes astounded by the number of people walking into the crosswalk against the light without EVER looking up from their e-device. Especially crossing Lafayette with traffic barreling uptown straight at them. Yes we know the traffic patters at astor are weird. We also know there are aggressive drivers everywhere. Please everyone: put your phone/toy in your pocket when crossing the street.
Be well, happy spring.

Anonymous said...

It may be worth noting that, after this incident, a couple of NYPD traffic vehicles remained in the area and wrote tickets for vehicles running red lights (a much-needed practice, in my opinion, whatever the circumstances of this incident).

Anonymous said...

Yes the cars, trucks and buses in the EV drive way to fast, people need to pay a lot more attention. I don't mean to be callous, but I see people daily, all over the city almost die because of their earbuds and lack of paying attention to their surroundings...and don't get me started on the amount of cyclists I see flying around the streets, headphones on and no helmet.

Not saying it was the case with this lady, but Darwin Awards anyone?

Anonymous said...

i think it's time to start a public awareness campaign.

a quick snippet of what happened. whenever i'm with my girl, i tell her of dangerous crosswalks. it adds context while making her more cautious.

nygrump said...

NYPD could sit at any light in this city and write ticket after ticket. For some reason, they'd rather hassle young men of color.

Anonymous said...

New York is a pedestrian town. We need to get rid of all the non-commercial traffic, and better regulate the commercial traffic.

Pedestrians can also be really dumb sometimes. I constantly find myself crossing a street during a narrow gap between traffic, and I always see people start walking just because they see me going and without looking at the oncoming cars.

Anonymous said...

If anyone is interested, there are some good data sources about the locations and causes of crashes in NYC, as investigated by NYPD. They just released statistics from February 2014: http://www.streetsblog.org/2014/03/27/nypd-914-pedestrians-and-cyclists-injured-nine-killed-in-traffic-in-february/ . The chart with contributing factors at the bottom is very informational.

The Streetsblog post also links to Crashmapper, where you can zoom in to East Village to see where most collisions occur in our neighborhood (http://nyc.crashmapper.com/about).

Condolences to Lisa's family and friends.

Anonymous said...

How about a crossing guard at the intersection of St.Mark's Place and Third Avenue?

D

moe said...

Per comments above,
Re grump, wow ANYTHING can be seen as racist thru the right eyes, even a traffic accident.

PS yes ACCIDENT, that's what one calls something not done on purpose, an ACCIDENT. Why should we be cowed into not using the obvious and correct term?

bowboy said...

ok, the day-gig wont let me get to crashmapper, so I still need to check my facts, but I'm not calling this 3rd Avenue. It seems like just another rush along the Bowery to get to a bridge. I'm willing to bet that more pedistrians are hit on Bowery per square foot than anyone other street. It's the driveway to 2 bridges and passage to a 3rd. I'm not sure why it isn't treated as a special case among Manhattan's roads.

blue glass said...

even the most careful pedestrian will have trouble crossing third avenue. the entire stretch from houston to 14th street is probably the shortest light for crossing an avenue in the east village.
even if you start your crossing at the exact minute the light turns green it will be red before you reach the other side.
for an older person, somebody with a carriage or or child, a cane or walker - forget it.

Anonymous said...

Just terrible. I'm horrified every day when I cross. I have committed to waiting for the light and never to run. The streets are all dug up pot holes everywhere. I saw this old lady trying to cross the street with her walker up further on 3rd and the wheels kept on getting stuck in the asphalt rubble. You know what's really bad too is Houston Street. On A and Houston the pedestrian has the light to go and the cars making a left turn onto Houston from Essex also have right of way.

R.I.P. baby.

moe said...

If that is the Spike I am thinking of, the skinny blonde Tompkins Square original, that is extra tragic, she was just hardcore rockandroll like they don't make anymore, always fun and positive even when in her cups. Saw her at some free show in Tompkins last summer she was rocking and rolling and went on and on about how handsome I looked, so you know she was a generous soul to lie like that.
Made me feel good anyway!



Anonymous said...

This is so sad. I cross that intersection all the time. Speeding is a problem, as are inattentive pedestrians, but left turners onto 3rd from Astor Place are also a danger - especially buses. If a pedestrian is crossing and the bus or other vehicle decides to complete his turn before the walkers are out of the crosswalk, it leaves the pedestrian stranded in the street just when the light turns red. You really have to hustle to get out of the way then. We need a longer light and a left turn restriction at that intersection, along with other safety measure.

Anonymous said...

I wish you could have posted her photo sooner, Grieve. Maybe this would have prevented some of these callous comments.

Anonymous said...

nygrump 1:37, you are so right (about many things but especially about this).

Cars yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalk only ever happened when there was NYPD enforcement, but that became a low priority after 9/11/01, and ultimately a thing of the past. Midtown is especially bad, all day. No one stops anymore for pedestrians crossing; turning vehicles just rollll through the crosswalk at whatever speed the driver thinks he can get away with. Clearly a huge hazard but the cops apparently don't care.

Anonymous said...

I remember Spike from the park, she was always friendly to my kids . The problem isn't the way people cross the street, it's the stupid suburbanites that don't get the rhythm . They are so focused on speeding up to sit at a red light. Slow and steady man. Condolences to her friends and family.

Anonymous said...

Man the quality (low) of commentator thinking here! Several posts blaming the traffic accident on racism. Others blaming it on suburban drivers. Etc. Others saying it is somehow politically incorrect to even use the word 'accident' anymore.
Well let's see. Spike is(was) white, how is this a racist action. The driver was a local paper delivery guy, how is that suburban drivers? And under what theory was this not an 'accident', what could a van driver delivering papers have had against this girl?
PS know Spike well, a good kind soul and sad to see her go like this, but does anyone who knows her think for a minute she was sober and looking where she going in the road?

Anonymous said...

poor cutie; this is a total bummer. R.I.P. in rock n' roll heaven

chris flash said...

I knew Spike as well. She was a hard-core person who was always full of hyper energy, joking and laughing. Her doings at our shows in the park have always been outrageous and fun.

I'm guessing that at that hour (6:30am), she was probably drunk and heading home, not paying too much attention to traffic, though it was still dark out and she should have.

I feel soooo bad about her dying -- Spike was a good soul who did not deserve to go out like this....

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:19-

Next time, before you accuse, go back and reread the comments. Not one person blamed this accident on racism. NYgrump simply said his opinion that NYPD would rather hassle young black men than enforce traffic laws.

No one blamed this particular accident on a suburbanite driver, but someone did fault suburbanite drivers in general for not knowing how to drive defensively in NYC.

As for the distinction between "accident" and "collision," it's not a question of vehicular assault, but rather, whether any traffic laws were broken by the driver who then could potentially be found liable for causing the collision.

Anyway, it's understandable if your shock and/or grief over the loss of your friend may have impeded your reading comprehension. Condolences.

Elle said...

For what it's worth, I've lived in the EV for three years and am constantly almost run over by cyclists (usually food delivery personnel) who are either going through a red light or going the wrong way down a one way street. I can't say I have ever had any issues with cars or normal traffic, or at least any that weren't my own fault for being an oblivious pedestrian at the time. I'm obviously not trying to change the subject but, I really do feel that cyclists are a much larger threat to pedestrians than actual traffic - IF you can manage to look up from your phone for 3 seconds before crossing a street.
It just kills me when I check for cars on a one way street, see that there aren't any, go to cross, and then get whistled or screamed at by a cyclist who is going the wrong way down the street WAY too fast, and misses colliding with me by like a quarter of a second. Or if I have the actual walk symbol at the crosswalk, start walking, and then almost get mauled by a bike that decided red lights don't apply to cyclists. smh

Scuba Diva said...

For the record, I was hit and put in a coma back in 1981 when I was jaywalking on 7th between 1st and 2nd; it was dusk and beginning to rain, and visibility was poor. The kid who hit me was a new driver who didn't leave the scene.

Also, I was drunk; actually, you have a better chance of survival if you're drunk and relaxed. I'm truly sorry the odds weren't with Spike this time; I vaguely remember the woman people are talking about.

Oddly enough, I still play chicken with drivers; I always make eye contact, but I take some crazy risks when crossing streets. The pedestrian has the right of way, not that it matters if you're hit defending your rights.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:19: This has nothing to do with PC. The word "accident" implies that something just happened, couldn't have been avoided, and nobody is to blame. If you bothered to look at the links I provided above, you'd have seen that most collisions are result of driver error and / or negligence, sometimes alongside pedestrian error. There is nothing accidental about most traffic crashes. Before you start ranting, please check out the data.

Anonymous said...

@ Moe 3.19: So drivers who speed or drive recklessly or don't yield to pedestrians are not doing that on purpose? You know exactly what is at risk of happening if you drive like that (a CRASH) and you know the risk to a human being who is hit by a massive 2-ton vehicle. Give me a break with "not on purpose." Drivers who speed or drive recklessly CHOOSE to do so and do so ON PURPOSE; nobody is pushing their foot on the gas or making them read text messages while driving.

Vehicular violence is a huge problem in this city and I'm glad the media are finally catching on.

Eden Bee said...

Shit. I loved Spike. She was hysterical and crazy and hilarious. This blows.

Anonymous said...

Again, how 'bout a crossing guard at the intersection of St.Mark's Place and Third Avenue?

D

Anonymous said...

I hate reading stories like this one. Yes there is usually a little blame to spread around with pedestrians tuned out and texting or rushing into a street without paying attention or looking both ways. However drivers are too often aggressors, who has not been crossing a street in a cross walk with the walk light and had a vehicle intimidate you by getting way to close to your body. Drivers are responsible for whatever crosses the path of their vehicles, slow down in congested city streets, getting through one more intersection is never enough to make up for being late and you may just kill someone.

Spike said...

Ugh. From one Spike to another, rest in peace Lisa.

Brigitte said...

Considering she lived there and has lived there for a helluva long time, pretty sure she knew it was a two_way street. But way to be a jerk and call a person who died and will greatly missed by the community an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Dear neighbors,

Here's a good post about the problem of the media parroting the driver's statement as if it was fact, when no investigation has yet taken place. The dead can't speak up to defend themselves, and NYPD has a history of blaming the victims, who have in the past been vindicated (also, see the article). Even if Lisa was crossing against light, why are people so quick to state that she "wasn't paying attention", and why do some media outlets parrot that statement by the driver? Why don't we question if the driver was paying attention? State law requires motorists to exercise due care to avoid running people over. It's important that a thorough investigation examine both the victim's and the driver's behavior. Was HE paying attention? Was HE distracted? Speeding? I recommend reading this:
http://www.streetsblog.org/2014/03/28/nypd-and-the-press-parrot-drivers-account-of-crash-that-killed-lisa-julian/

RIP Lisa. I've never met you, but I'm sure you didn't deserve to die like this. Death should not be the price for a mistake like (possibly) crossing against a light. Nobody has the right to blame you while simply assuming the person who took your life could have done no wrong.

emblah said...

Lisa aka Spike was my sister. We didn't see each other much, this whole thing has really been tragic. My family is mourning. I have really loved all of the great photos have been posting. Im so glad to see that she was so happy living in the place she loved. We will miss her terribly...emily

Anonymous said...

We don't doubt, we don't take direction,
Lucretia, my reflection, dance the ghost with me