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Nicole’s Journey

Bronx resident Nicole Duncan exposes the dangerous pedestrian conditions while traveling though her neighborhood. Motorists ignore stop signs, run red lights and create an unsafe environment for nine-year-old Justyn and eleven-year-old Jamel while they are walking to school.

Nicole shot all of the video with a camera NYCSR loaned her for the day. Her footage and accompanying testimony is extremely moving.

<br> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[intro music]</font> <br> </p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Nicole Duncan:</i> [00:07] So I’m Nicole and this is Jamel, this is Justyn, and we are going to show you a typical day of travelling in the New York City streets and how hard it is to get across the street safely, without having any problems. Everyday we go to school and we have to take a lot of precautions just to get across one city street. It’s really hard living in the Bronx and trying to cross the streets, like having… when a problem come up. Everyday you see one child or more, more, having problems and things getting across the streets safely. I mean the cars themselves don’t want to… don’t want to slow down for us, even if there is a speed bump or a Stop sign. Most of the time you go to cross the street and you’re trying to stop a car with your body to get across. It’s a shame. You have lights here that don’t actually give you any safety. They’re still speeding even when the light is above the pedestrians. So hopefully you’ll understand what are we going through everyday, getting these kids, these two handsome boys across streets everyday.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Nicole Duncan:</i> [01:21] So Justyn, you’re on your way to school huh? So what is the number one thing that makes you afraid to cross the street going to school? </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Justyn:</i> [01:32] Cars. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Nicole Duncan:</i> [01:33] Why is that?</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Justyn:</i> [01:36] Because the cars in the street and the bus be at a red light, they run… they try to run the red light. So if you’re right there in front of them, you’re going to get hit. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Nicole Duncan:</i> [01:44] So why don’t you show us where we cross at to go… for you to go to school? </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Justyn:</i> [01:51] Over here. Down there. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Nicole Duncan:</i> [01:57] You can see the Stop sign but as you can see, the cars are stopping after the Stop sign, which any kid would have got hit right there past the white lines on the floor. You’re supposed to stop way before that. They are not stopping way before the Stop sign. So you see the cars just go straight through. They don’t even stop to see if anybody’s going to cross. They don’t wait for anybody. You have to try to signal them to let them know that you want to cross the street, which is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Justyn:</i> [02:34] Especially trucks cos they can’t see, if they can’t see the stop sign cos they’re bigger, so they should put up a sign saying no trucks.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Nicole Duncan:</i> [02:41] There goes a truck. Let’s see if he’s going to stop. Oh he slowed down but he’s not stopping. Wow. Big old milk truck. There goes another van. Did he stop? Everybody’s stopping after the Stop sign. Now look at the car, he did not stop. This one didn’t stop either. There’s another one coming, let’s see if he stops. Oh, no, he doesn’t stop. So now we’re going to cross, and as we’re crossing there’s a car coming. And he’s not stopping for us. He kept going. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Justyn:</i> [03:23] And here comes another car. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Nicole Duncan:</i> [03:23] There goes some more traffic coming. Let’s see if they stop. No, see he crossed over the big Stop sign. Yes. No-one is stopping. But the school bus, isn’t that ironic? There goes another one. Did not stop. Here comes another. Won’t stop for the children either. Another car. It’s going to stop. Okay. So this is Justyn’s school. Louise Lorenz Academy. Now this Stop sign is gorgeous, as you can see. But, does she make anybody stop for her? Ha, that’s the question. When you come out in the afternoon, do you see cars stopping or the cars going right past? </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Justyn:</i> [04:22] I see cars coming right past. I don’t see any cars stopping. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Nicole Duncan:</i> [04:28] Let’s look. That was a car, he just missed, it did not stop. And there goes two little kids running across the street to school. So if we don’t have drivers that respect the calming devices… there goes a car, he did not stop first of all, and you saw two little girls just ran past that same area. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Nicole Duncan:</i> [05:05] Okay. So we’re walking… we are walking towards… this is… was 61<sup>st</sup> Street, just about. 159<sup>th</sup> right here. You are at your own risk. See. Now mind you, there’s Stop signs around here, written all across the floor actually, but nobody’s stopping. Cars just keep going through. There goes other car, did not stop. Let’s see if this car stops when it’s turning. No, it doesn’t stop. So you have… we have to… so now we’re approaching the street. Come on Jamel. And I have to make sure to look and hope that a car stops for us, which this car is turning and not letting us stop… go through. Now we’re on 161<sup>st</sup> Street, right. This is the scariest crossing area. One of… other than the Grand Concourse which we are going to get to soon. This section has lights. But as you can see, there’s a lot of different lanes. It’s an intersection, there’s cars coming out from the tunnel, and you have to cross past this tunnel to get across the other corner. Why aren’t you given permission to come home by yourself with your friends? What’s the number one thing mummy’s most scared of?</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jamel:</i> [06:51] My mum is most scared of me getting hurt by these crazy cars crossing the… going across the street. It’s very dangerous and my mum is really… likes to look out for me. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Nicole Duncan:</i> [07:04] Have you ever heard of any of your friends or anybody you know getting hit by a car?</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jamel:</i> [07:09] Yes. My friend Donald.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Nicole Duncan:</i> [07:10] What happened to him?</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jamel:</i> [07:12] He was crossing an intersection down by 164 and the car wouldn’t stop for him and he… the car just… he said that she was trying to run the red light.</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Nicole Duncan:</i> [07:24] He was trying to run the red light, the car?</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jamel:</i> [07:26] Yes. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Nicole Duncan:</i> [07:27] This is one of the worst crossing areas of the Bronx. I cannot tell you how many children, people, have been hit, killed on the Grand Concourse. Our kids have to cross this street everyday from the park that’s across the street right there, coming from school. That’s life in the Bronx. It seems like the cars are more important than human life. We have the walk signal, but there’s a whole bunch of cars turning on the corner there and not many of them are waiting for people to get across the street. They’re turning… as you’re trying to walk, they turn into you. Look at this car, look. Look, I’m trying to cross the street, look at this. They won’t even stop. They approach even up to, closer to your body. So Jamel, if mum was to let you come home by yourself with a friend, would you be really scared to cross this Grand Concourse?</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jamel:</i> [08:54] Yes, I would be really scared to go across the Grand Concourse because many people get hit here and buses and cars are going crazy around here. They’re going very different ways, they go past the white line and they let… they don’t stop for other people. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Nicole Duncan:</i> [09:12] What would be your biggest fear while crossing the street?</font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jamel:</i> [09:15] My biggest fear while crossing the street would probably be when the cars are turning towards me, cos they try to speed to catch up with the other cars to go in that direction. And most of the cars are turning to get to the middle to go as fast, all the way to the Concourse, and so they won’t… they’re not going to try to stop cos they don’t want to go in the middle lane. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Nicole Duncan:</i> [09:35] This is still at the Grand Concourse. More lives have been lost here than any Bronx street I think. Look at this car right here. We’re in the middle of a street and he doesn’t even care, he backs up. I have the light right now and I can’t even get across the street because the cars won’t stop or slow down so I can get across. I’m waiting for them. I have to wait for them, I have the light though. But I’m waiting for the cars to go by. I am giving them the right-of-way. If I’m not mistaken, I thought pedestrians have the right-of-way. I don’t know anymore. Look, look, look, this car is running the light. Can you see that? They’re running the light. Two cars just ran the light. Oh. Here’s another car, doesn’t want to stop for us. Uh oh, now he’s stopping, he sees us crossing. Oh, oh, oh. Look at that. People cross the street, the cars are now stopping for them. They have the light. I hope you see what the light sign right in front. They won’t stop for the people to cross the street. You see this? You have to wait for the cars. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s crazy. Look, they can’t cross. They keep trying to cross but they have to go back. And so now we just came off the Grand Concourse. We are walking avenue, 161<sup>st</sup> Street, and as you can see there’s a bunch of cars just packed up right here trying to turn as I’m trying to cross. Now mind you if people… I have the light right now and there’s a FedEx truck completely blocking my way. I have the light which I can’t show you because the truck is blocking the light for me to cross. Isn’t it just sweet? Look, I cannot cross the street. The cars, the trucks, look. I have the light. This guy has to come around the front of the truck to get the light. On top of that, I missed the light now because of the truck and all the cars that were so far ahead of the light, blocking my view that I missed the light. So now I have to wait again to see if I can get across this street. Guess what? I can’t cross. I will have to go, which I’m going to do and show you how I have to walk through a maze of vehicles to get across the street with my son. Even though I have the light, I have to walk through all these cars. Let me show you all the cars that are right there, I just walked through. These are all the cars I just walked through. You call this safe? Let me give you a taste of what life is like, how life is during Yankee games. The traffic is horrible, but we still have to cross here because we live here. And during the game when you want to get home, huh, I’d like to see you try to get home without breaking into a sweat. Look at this bus. I have the right-of-way right now to cross, but he’s completely blocking my area to cross the street. Look at this car, he’s not even waiting for somebody to cross. I don’t have the light yet to cross. I don’t want to get hit by a car. Now mind you, I have the light now, but this car is blocking me. You see this? This car… we have to go around the car, outside into the middle of the street, mind you, oncoming traffic to cross. Look at this car. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Jamel:</i> [13:54] Children should be able to be able to cross a street safe. And whilst the Bronx has a lot of busy streets, but they should be more safer and people are being lazy and don’t even want to help us. But they’re pedestrian too, try to cross the street whenever they like. </font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <a href="http://transcriptdivas.ca/transcription-canada/">Transcript Divas Transcription Canada </a>
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