A proposed plan to fence off overhead dangers

The DOT released this rendering of what the Brooklyn Bridge would look like with 8 feet of fencing. Its fencing right now does not meet the bill’s standards.

Danger is lurking above New Yorkers’ heads every day, one Councilman warns, and could drop in the form of a lobbed brick or tipped-over shopping cart.

People throwing things from overpasses is a problem that should be solved with higher fencing, Bronx Councilman James Vacca said yesterday at a Council meeting.

Vacca convened the hearing after several high-profile incidents: A man riding a bike was hit by a brick in August; Upper East Side resident Marion Hedgeshit was critically injured by a shopping cart thrown off an elevated parking garage in East Harlem in October; and two men were hit with another hurled shopping cart in the Bronx in January.

“Nobody should ever have to think that they should have to check above for falling objects as they walk the streets of New York,” said Vacca.

 His bill would require 8 feet of fencing be installed along plazas, ramps, overpasses and passageways.

 But officials from the Department of Transportation expressed concerns with the bill, saying the changes would cost $50 million and take at least 10 years. Many of the DOT-operated 787 bridge structures already have 8-foot-tall barricades, said DOT deputy commissioner David Woloch.

But should Vacca’s bill become law, about 100 elevated structures would have to be retrofitted, which would require an engineer’s assessment and redesigned fencing.

“It’s not an effective way to improve safety,” Woloch said.

Man recalls being hit with falling brick

Stephen Arthur, 44, a Park Slope cyclist and programmer, spoke at yesterday’s hearing and described how he was hit in the face with a brick thrown from an overpass while biking in Fort Greene on Aug. 12.

The brick was thrown from the Navy Street overpass, he said.

The people who threw the brick were never caught. He needed surgery, he said, and has been through two months of rehabilitation for injuries to his face and wrist.

Yesterday, he wore a wrist brace while biking to the Council meeting to testify, and said he still has pain in his teeth as well.

“No one deserves to go through this,” he said. “My whole right side of my face was hit, was jarred,” he told Metro.

He testified, he said, because “something needed to be done.” 

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.