New York Metropolis’s pedestrians and cyclists are extra in danger on the streets as town’s site visitors fatalities attain record-breaking ranges.
The Imaginative and prescient Zero plan, initiated beneath former Mayor Invoice de Blasio in 2014, was meant to dramatically enhance road security by way of complete knowledge and engineering. In response to Imaginative and prescient Zero knowledge as of March 31, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx have the best charges of site visitors fatalities and accidents this yr. Citywide there’s been a complete of 51 deaths and 11,043 folks injured up to now.
“Behind each crash is a household and neighborhood impacted by site visitors violence,” mentioned Speaker Adrienne Adams in a press release. “The Council is taking main steps to safe safer streets and neighborhoods for all New Yorkers.”
In a metropolis council listening to on April 27, safer streets laws sponsored by Transportation Committee Chair and Councilmember Selvena Brooks-Powers, Councilmember Rita Joseph, and Councilmember Amanda Farias, was permitted beneath the Imaginative and prescient Zero objective of eliminating traffic-related deaths and critical accidents.
The invoice would require the Division of Transportation (DOT) to revamp and “daylight” road intersections starting in 2025, set up site visitors calming gadgets to sluggish or cut back site visitors close to zones with seniors, and name on the state to put money into the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
“We all know that each site visitors demise is preventable if we make enhancements and adjustments to road infrastructure and pedestrian security,” mentioned Public Advocate Jumaane Williams on the listening to. “To fulfill the crucial second in our road security panorama we should put money into our communities, particularly these in site visitors corridors that for years have seen incalculable loss.”
After the bundle of payments was permitted, neighborhood teams and elected officers rallied within the rain this previous weekend for security on main roadways, like Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. They demanded further “site visitors calming” laws and mentioned that 2025 was not quickly sufficient to implement these latest legal guidelines since extra “preventable” deaths would happen within the interim.
“For too lengthy our metropolis has not prioritized pedestrians,” mentioned Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso on the rally. “This metropolis is aware of Atlantic Avenue has been an issue for a very long time they usually drag their toes as a result of they don’t need to do the inevitable–which is we would must take some lanes from autos, we would must rethink the way in which we transfer round.”
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Atlantic Avenue is a ten mile lengthy “main thoroughfare” that bisects northern Brooklyn and Queens. On April 16, pedestrian Katie Harris was killed by a driver crossing Atlantic close to Clinton Road. “Think about dropping the individual that means probably the most to you. The individual that is aware of greater than some other particular person, the individual that loves you and all of your faults unconditionally,” mentioned an in depth good friend of Harris’ tearfully. “It’s unimaginable till it occurs.”
Amy Cohen, co-founder of Households for Secure Streets, additionally spoke about dropping her younger son to site visitors violence. She mentioned that change shouldn’t be so laborious. She’s been advocating for a regulation to be handed named after her late son, Sammy’s Legislation, that may decrease the pace restrict.
Some on the rally have been staunch supporters of site visitors security all through their careers as elected officers. Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon pushed for town’s first site visitors calming examine beneath former Mayor Rudy Guiliani. “In 1997, we lastly bought the Mayor to present us a site visitors calming venture,” mentioned Simon. “Then town DOT sat on the contract for a yr and a half.”
The group advocated for the Metropolis to additionally set up mid-block site visitors lights to sluggish site visitors and create extra environment friendly pedestrian crossings, raised crosswalks for intersections, prolonged curbs, and redesigned sidewalk and pedestrian areas close to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE).
“There’s no motive for delay. I believe forms strikes too sluggish and we ought to be pushing [the] DOT to go quicker,” mentioned Councilmember Lincoln Restler on the rally. “Lives are at stake.
Ariama C. Lengthy is a Report for America corps member and writes about politics for the Amsterdam Information. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps maintain her writing tales like this one; please contemplate making a tax-deductible present of any quantity immediately by visiting https://bit.ly/amnews1.