Wintry Mix Hits New York Area

winter storm

A Winter Storm Warning is currently in effect for the New York City area, as a system of wintry mix of precipitation is moving east. Snow accumulations will be less in the south.

Northern New Jersey is likely to get more than hakf-foot of snow.

New York City Schools are open, and so are their after-school programs, but field trips have been canceled.

Drivers are being warned to be extra cautious and leave extra time. Alternate side parking regulations have been suspended for snow removal Monday.

Mayor Bill De Blasio issued a severe weather warning and hazardous travel advisory for Monday.

Long Island Railroad, Metro-North, MTA, working on normal weekday schedule as extra crews are keeping platforms clear of snow and ice.

It is advised for riders to take extra time for morning and evening commutes.

Noe I. For Windows of the World

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US Traffic Deaths At Lowest Level Since 1949

U.S. traffic fatalities continue to plunge, reaching their lowest level since 1949, well before the creation of the American interstate highway system.

According to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32,310 people died in traffic accidents in 2011, a 1.7% year-over-year decline. That marks the seventh consecutive year that the death rate has declined.

Since just 2005, traffic fatalities have fallen by more than 25% — and when measured in terms of deaths per mile driven the figure has reached its lowest level since record-keeping began in 1921, according to NHTSA.

While federal officials declined to point to specific factors, experts suggest there are several reasons behind the sharp drop.  These include a crackdown on drunk driving – which some once linked to as many as half of all highway deaths – increased use of seatbelts and improved vehicle design complying with stricter federal safety requirements.  In just the last several years, NHTSA has mandated the installation of electronic stability control systems on all new vehicles, along with tougher roof crush standards.

But some experts also point to the economic downturn which has been credited – or blamed – for a sharp drop in the number of miles the average American has been driving in recent years.  The preliminary NHTSA study shows U.S. motorists collectively drove 35.7 billion vehicle miles fewer in 2011 than the year before – a 1.2% decline.  As the economy recovers, some observers warn, fatalities could rise as people again drive more.

But even when adjusted to an apples-to-apples, the death rate is down, reaching a low of 1.09 for every 100 million miles driven compared to 1.11 deaths in 2010.  At its peak, that was closer to 7 per 100 million vehicle miles.

As recently as 2005, traffic accidents were responsible for 43,510 deaths in the United States – a figure that includes pedestrian fatalities.

The decline varied by region, and New England experienced the biggest drop, fatalities down by 7.2% last year.  In the American heartland, including Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, the death toll dipped 5.3%. But the three-state region including Hawaii, California and Arizona bucked the trend, with fatalities actually increasing by 3.3% last year.

NBC NEWS.

Two Planes in Close Call After Rookie Air Traffic Control Error In Hawaii

A Federal Aviation Administration probe into the rookie mistake of an air traffic controller, which brought two planes perilously close at Honolulu International Airport, has led to the resignation of a longtime air traffic controller.

A Japan Airlines 767 jet arriving in January to Honolulu from Tokyo and a United Parcel Service MD11 jet also coming in for a landing were involved in a near miss, only 15 miles west of the Hawaii capital, as first reported by Hawaii News Now.

The FAA now admits that because a rookie air controller froze while handling the planes, the two jets came within 300 feet of each other. The near miss caused both pilots to react to cockpit warnings of impending collision.

“UPS 36 heavy, fly heading 180. Japan Air 72 heavy, descend and maintain 1, 3,000,” the air traffic controller said during the Jan. 14 incident, leading the JAL pilot to radio, “Japan Air 72 heavy, now TCAS descend.”

The reference to TCAS means the pilot’s collision alarm went off.

“One of the aircraft’s computers said, ‘climb,’ and the other aircraft’s computer said, ‘descend’. So that they wouldn’t go on this collision course and hit each other,” ABC News Aviation consultant Steve Ganyard explained.

At one point, their altitude separation dropped to 0, meaning they were headed straight for each other, Hawaii News Now reported.

Read more on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Water Main Break In Lower Manhattan Impacts Traffic.

water main break in Lower Manhattan had a major impact on traffic and transit early Thursday morning.

A 12-inch water main dating back to the 1800s burst at the corner of West Broadway and Murray streets around 3 a.m. The main flooded the street and the Chambers Street subway station.

For several hours Thursday morning, the Metropolitan Transit Authority said there was no service on the 1, 2 and 3 trains between 14th Street and South Ferry and Atlantic Avenue as crews pumped water out of the subway station and inspected the tracks.

By about 8:30 a.m., service had resumed on the 1, 2, 3 with residual delays.

Read the full story on CBS New York.

New Jersey Traffic Back on Schedule After Delays

NJ Transit trains are operating near or on schedule after overhead wire damage in one Hudson River tunnel wrought havoc on the morning commute.

Trains were experiencing delays of up to 60 minutes for about five hours following the incident early Tuesday.

Passengers heading to or from stations in New York and Hoboken were affected.