Bill de Blasio Outlines His “Vision Zero” Plan

As if on cue, Bill de Blasio today released a plan to reduce city traffic fatalities to zero within 10 years.

Bill de Blasio. Photo: ##http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20111211/POLITICS/312119988##Crain’s##

The paper draws heavily on data and, while some facets would require concessions from Albany and cooperation from NYPD, it’s the most comprehensive and detailed street safety policy released by a mayoral candidate to date.

“The City must take decisive and sustained action to reduce street fatalities each year until we have achieved ‘Vision Zero’ — a city with zero fatalities or serious injuries caused by car crashes on the streets of New York,” the paper reads.

Here are the main points:

  • De Blasio says DOT should revamp at least 50 dangerous corridors and intersections a year, with a focus on poorer neighborhoods, areas near schools, and neighborhoods with higher senior populations. “This means narrowing excessively wide streets that encourage reckless passing and speeding, widening sidewalks and medians to make streets easier and safer to cross, and adding dedicated bicycle infrastructure to create a safe space for New Yorkers on bikes.”
  • De Blasio would quadruple the number of DOT Slow Zones, to 52, in four years.
  • Citing enforcement and fatality data related to speeding and failure to yield, de Blasio says, “NYPD should track and prioritize the enforcement of speeding, failures to yield to pedestrians, and reckless driving on particularly deadly roads and streets.” He also calls for more traffic cameras and an end to Albany control over their use in NYC.

It seems the engineering components outlined by de Blasio would, at least, continue the work of DOT under Bloomberg. This is an area that is completely within the mayor’s control. And though de Blasio doesn’t exactly call NYPD out — there is no mention, for example, of the department’s failure to investigate serious traffic crashes — it’s good to see a candidate talk about the need for better traffic enforcement.

All in all, for mayoral aspirants seeking the street safety vote, Bill de Blasio has raised the bar.

  • Andrew

    Click on the “Bill de Blasio” topic link to the right, and scroll back six months. How on earth does he suddenly have credibility on these issues? I’m glad to be pandered to, but let’s not call this anything but election year pandering.

  • Mark Walker

    He’s at least got my attention. Up to now I’ve been thinking of Quinn as the next Bloomberg because of their close ties and work together on congestion pricing — and maybe Lhota as someone with more than a passing familiarity with MTA. They’ll have to step up to the plate with something more specific now if they want to keep my attention.

  • Alex Knight

    I guess the question is whether this is just lip service or an actual acknowledgement that this is a serious issue that voters care about. I’m skeptical, but like what I’m hearing. I’ll need to see more evidence this is anything more than empty political promises.

  • Gert

    Prospect Park West is a deal breaker. As long as he keeps repeating the total BS that there was something wrong about the process, I won’t vote for him.

  • kevd

    Or if that was pandering back then? Hard to know, huh?

  • Anonymous

    I’d still take the pandering over the “I’ll rip out your f___ing bike lanes” offered by some other candidate.

  • Anonymous

    There are very few New Yorkers for whom the most important issues are transportation, but there are a lot who do think it is important. You’re not going to get a one-issue candidate focused on transportation, at least not who has an chance of election. But acknowledging transportation as a serious and important issue, and proposing feasible solutions, are huge improvements over ignoring it, outright hostility, or proposing only fantasy solutions.

  • Bronxite

    Or the anti-Congestion Pricing stance. Because he feel it unfairly burdens outer borough residents (who rarely commute into the core to begin with!).

  • Bronxite

    Correction:

    Or the anti-Congestion Pricing stance. Because he feels it unfairly burdens outer borough residents (who rarely commute into the core via automobile to begin with!)

  • T

    It’s a question of pandering and honesty. If a candidate keeps telling lies about the DOT process, what else will he lie about?

  • Steve Faust

    This is BS, De Blasio isn’t close to the bar at all.
    First, there is nothing in his proposal that he couldn’t and shouldn’t have been pushing as Advocate. De Blasio took no notice of traffic deaths, exacerbated by police incompetence and ignorance if not outright malfeasance. He failed to support any of the NYDOT traffic calming projects as Advocate, and cast aspersions on much of what DOT was doing.

    No, the Advocate can’t give the NYPD or DOT orders, but he can publicly investigate the first, and support the second. He can “advocate” for traffic calming, speed cameras, bike lanes and protected cycletracks, he can question why traffic deaths are not investigated, and why all other crash injuries are ignored, and why deliberate assaults by drivers that were “just near misses” are never followed up to see if the driver/car is a habitual disaster area.

    Second, De Blasio is from Park Slope, where he has supposedly been involved in community politics for years. Yet he comes out against the Prospect Park West Bike Path. Bill doesn’t like the Planning Process that developed the PPW path needs and scope, claiming that it was a hidden, back room deal, designed just to annoy drivers. The idea for PPW came from the multi-year 9th Street Bike Lane planning process. City Planning, the Community Board and DOT, along with hundreds of community members had years of meetings, multiple news articles in local papers, before DOT proceeded with PPW reconfiguration. Anybody involved with Park Slope politics who had a pulse couldn’t have avoided the PPW planning. If De Blasio didn’t know about the planning and design for PPW years before it was built, it was because he didn’t want to know.

    The Planning Process is supposed to be Comprehensive, Coordinated and Continuing. As a professional transportation planner, in the real world, we know that no process works perfectly to theory, But in terms of physical needs and design and active community input, the Planning Process for the PPW Bike Path was as near to perfect as any real project is going to be.

    But De Blasio prefers a different 3C Process: Confused, Confidential and Costly! The process that NBBL wants to follow; entirely under the table and behind closed doors.

    Until and unless Bill De Blasio recants his opposition to PPW, explains why he misunderstands the Planning Process and explains how he expects to move forward differently with DOT, City Planning and the NYPD, there is no way I can support him for Mayor.

    Unfortunately, the same applies to nearly all of the other candidates. Even when they say they support the PPW Path, as built, nearly all have complained that the Planning Process was flawed and had omitted input from large segments of the community. Failure to get 100 percent support or 100 percent participation for a project does not constitute failure of the Planning Process, if most people do support it, and everyone had the “opportunity” to participate; which was the case for PPW. The majority of the candidates have no idea how community planning works, which can prove deadly for traffic safety, transportation, transit, parks, schools, hospitals, or anything. They are all missing a critical qualification to be Mayor of NYC.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t find any mention of adding bike lanes. Am I missing something?

    And just because he wants DOT to “revamp” streets, that doesn’t mean they will be more pedestrian and bike friendly.

    I sort of judge this guy by the company he keeps. Seeing NBBLers pop up around him makes him radioactive to me. Can’t imagine he would continue any of the JSK playbook.

  • Bike Lover
  • Anonymous

    Agree.

    If he actually forced the NYPD to do something about speeding drivers that would be way more significant to me than his anti PPW bike path stance or anything else.

  • Anonymous

    I’m behind Bill de Blasio 100%. The goal is to maintain the forward momentum of the Department of Transportation on issues like pedestrian plazas, SBS/BRT, bike share and cycling infrastructure, while at the same time–and for the first time–making the Police Department responsive to the livable streets safety and enforcement agenda. Bill d is the only viable candidate for Mayor who has at least publicly committed to trying to reform the NYPD, an admittedly difficult task. And his transportation platform, centering on Vision Zero and city-wide equity in transportation access, is awesome. No one can say in advance how much of that platform he would be able to actually implement, but clearly he’ll be heading in the right direction. And the livable streets advocacy community will be there each step of the way to keep things on track!

    As for his record as Public Advocate, all I can say is…what were we saying about Michael Bloomberg in 2006?

  • Anonymous

    On behalf of the StreetsPAC board, let me assure you that the Prospect Park West bike path and all of the other issues that
    folks are rightly concerned about were considered in the StreetsPAC
    endorsement process. Press releases and blog posts are ill-suited to
    laying out all the details. For now, I’ll point out that that Bill de Blasio’s written response to StreetsPAC’s questionnaire
    states:

    “I believe the redesign of Prospect Park West is safer than the previous configuration and I have no intention of altering it.”

    A group of us then interviewed Bill, and asked him extensively about his record. I for one am convinced that his commitment to these issues is sincere. No other candidate gave a written or oral assurance
    as to the future of Prospect Park West of anywhere near the clarity
    of this statement.

  • Anonymous

    On behalf of the StreetsPAC board, let me assure you that the Prospect Park West bike path and all of the other issues that
    folks are rightly concerned about were considered in the StreetsPAC
    endorsement process. Press releases and blog posts are ill-suited to
    laying out all the details. For now, I’ll point out that that Bill de Blasio’s written response to StreetsPAC’s questionnaire
    states:

    “I believe the redesign of Prospect Park West is safer than the previous configuration and I have no intention of altering it.”

    A group of us then interviewed Bill, and asked him extensively about his record. I for one am convinced that his commitment to these issues is sincere. No other candidate gave a written or oral assurance
    as to the future of Prospect Park West of anywhere near the clarity
    of this statement.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Vision Zero: Where Do We Go From Here?

|
John Petro is a policy analyst for New York City affairs and the co-author of “Vision Zero: How Safer Streets in New York City Can Save More Than 100 Lives a Year.” Mayor Bill de Blasio released his administration’s Vision Zero Action Plan earlier this week, following up on a high-profile campaign promise just six […]