Today’s Headlines

  • De Blasio Responds to Pedestrian Fatalities, Promises Action (News)
  • Arthur Chi’en Stays on Top of the Traffic Justice Beat (WPIX 1, 2)
  • Two Police Vehicles Crash in Harlem, Resulting in Minor Injuries (News)
  • Driver Accelerates, Pins and Injures Man — Inside Brooklyn Car Dealership (News)
  • Dirt Bikers Take Over Washington Heights Street to Pop Wheelies (Gothamist, Post, News)
  • Transportation Alternatives Uses PSA From New Zealand to Educate NYC Drivers (News 12)
  • Carlucci’s Tax Break for Drivers: Turns Out NY Toll Burden Isn’t Even That High (MTR)
  • De Blasio’s Vision Zero Goal Must Be Achieved in the Shadow of Robert Moses (IVM)
  • Brooklyn Based Offers a Vision Zero “Cheat Sheet” to Introduce Readers to the Issue

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Vision Zero

    Mayor Bill de Blasio promised us Vision Zero. These dead children and seniors are his now. He owns these fatalities. What is he doing about it? What’s the plan? What is he waiting for?

  • Adrian

    A little anecdote to demonstrate to idiots in Albany why automatic camera enforcement is required.

    This morning I was waiting at the junction of Jay St and Tillary St, a busy intersection for cars, walkers and bicyclists heading towards the Manhattan/Brooklyn bridges. My light goes green and I immediately set off on Jay St towards the bridge, as did pedestrians crossing Tillary, only to be startled when someone heading west on Tillary blows the light (by a good 5 seconds) and turns right onto Jay. Now this happens all the time right? We hate it, but it’s not uncommon. This however was different. The guy wasn’t in an SUV. He was in a 50ft flatbed truck. A truck with almost no visibility to see pedestrians in the crossing. At truck so long that he had to take the turn wide, swinging into both lanes of the oncoming traffic from Jay, and blocking the entire junction because cars couldn’t get out of his way. I notice the cop standing on the corner watching all this and shaking her head. I ask “aren’t you going to write him a ticket or something?” whilst he’s still stuck there blocking the road. “What am I supposed to do, I’m just on foot?” was her reply.

  • Andrew N

    While deBlasio can pursue local changes, including new street design and potentially new regulation of taxi licensing rules (though the extensive donations from taxi companies to his campaign make that, perhaps, doubtful, holding reckless drivers criminally responsible for the violence they wreak is going to need to go through Albany. It’s probably going to require a rewriting of the state’s criminally negligent homicide law as it applies to traffic violence to eliminate the “moral blameworthiness” standard that the appellate court has inserted.

    Alternately, a very aggressive DA could attempt to argue that reckless driving in an area with dense pedestrian populations rises to the level of moral blame. This argument could work, but it would require the state appellate court to overturn its current interpretation of the law. It may be best to think of this as a three prong strategy: pushing for administrative changes within the city bureaucracy, pushing for new law at the state level, and attempting to persuade one of the local DAs to challenge the current interpretation of the criminal negligence law.

    Obviously, deBlasio can play a major part in this, but the ridiculous state of home rule law in NYS means that a fair portion is going to have to go through the state legislatures and courts.

  • Parent

    No more talk. We need a dedicated action plan. He promised to redesign 50 dangerous corridors or intersections per year. That’s at least 4 per month. So where are the first 4? He promised to speed up the implementation of Slow Zones. So where are they going?

    And is he willing to stare down community boards over parking and medallion owners over bike lanes and traffic speeds? Anyone can talk to the press and make vague promises, but it takes a real leader to tell NYC motorists and the NYPD “enough is enough.”

  • Jeff

    Does anyone else feel like the press coverage with respect to traffic violence has been pretty reasonable over the past month or so? I feel like this time last year we were reading about the evil bicycles that would reanimate in the middle of the night and salt our crops.

  • qrt145

    Maybe De Blasio did set the tone with his campaign. Now that he made the impossible (at least in the short term) promise of bringing death on our roads to zero, the local news have every incentive to cover road deaths, because they love to appear critical of the mayor regardless of who is in charge.

  • bronislav_malinowski

    Don’t give Bill “I’m a motorist, tho, kthx” deBlasio any credit on this – its been Streetsblog, TA, the parents of murdered children, and countless others that have raised this issue.

  • qrt145

    Absolutely, but Bill has a bigger megaphone. Streetsblog et al. have been working on this for years, but I posit that the recent change in coverage observed by Jeff is because they managed to persuade the new mayor to make it an important part of his platform.

  • Robert Wright

    Thank you, as ever, for the kind reference to the Invisible Visible Man,
    Your Humble Servant,
    Invisible.

  • Robert Wright

    I think it’s been a combination. Streetspac made de Blasio feel he had to win their nomination and, to do so, he had to adopt Vision Zero and talk about it when asked. He’s not entirely on side, I’d suggest. But he knows he’s signed up to a position and there’s growing concern.

  • Robert Wright

    Tragically, of course, there’s another reason it’s moving up the agenda. So many people keep dying in circumstances where the driver has no possible excuse of his or her behavior that it’s not surprising the outcry is growing.

  • Robert Wright

    Finally, I do address (inter alia) the issue of how de Blasio should lead on these issues in the blogpost kindly referenced above: http://invisiblevisibleman.blogspot.com/2014/01/a-terrifying-avenue-new-mayor-and-how.html

  • thomas040

    It’s cool that they will look at speed limits, enforcement and the way NYPD handles traffic deaths… but what should go above and beyond all that is look
    at street design. Most of these deaths could be prevented if street designs were re-thought

  • red_greenlight1

    And what a powerful response De Blasio gave! A couple paragraphs spoken about how committed he is! No need to call a press conference about the largest source of criminal killings in the city! All hail our intrepid mayor!

  • Skeptic

    de Blasio never uttered the words “vision zero” once during his campaign. If he ran on a platform promising to crack down on drivers, Quinn would be mayor now.

    Fact is, there is no crisis, except in the minds of the streethugger crowd. Want a completely safe street? Theres s suburban cul-de-sac with your name on it back in your hometown

  • Let Me Google That For You

    http://www.billdeblasio.com/issues/transportation

    Zero Traffic Fatalities, and Home Rule on Traffic Cameras

    One crash is too many. Every year on New York City streets, hundreds of pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and passengers lose their lives. Bill de Blasio believes in “Vision Zero,” an approach that combines education, smarter streets, and strong enforcement to reduce dangerous and illegal behavior on our streets — including speeding, distracted driving, and
    failure to yield to pedestrians. The goal: reduce serious injuries and fatalities on our streets to zero. This holistic approach has been implemented around the world and ensures we address every factor that makes streets dangerous, from behavior to road design. To put us on this
    path, de Blasio will stop waiting on Albany and fight for home rule, so New York City — on its own — can install red light cameras and speed-enforcement cameras around hundreds of schools and senior centers. De Blasio will establish more 20 mph zones in residential neighborhoods, so kids and seniors can walk their streets safely. He will be an active
    partner for communities trying to tame dangerous thoroughfares, including Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx and Queens Boulevard.

  • JoshNY

    Seven dead in the last two weeks. That’s a pace for almost 200 over the course of a year. No crisis? Seriously?

  • Jeff

    I think he’s coming from that school of thought where death by auto is simply part of the “cost of doing business”. Part of the social contract, if you will. People gotta drive, so people gotta die. Simple as that. If you don’t like it, you should move to a commune in the middle of the woods, or something (this guy suggests a suburban cul-de-sac, but those of us who are knowledgeable on these issues understand that such a lifestyle would leave one even more susceptible to traffic violence, not to mention helping to perpetuate it).

  • JoshNY

    This is a good read. I particularly enjoyed “Sadik-Khan, who had a strong record
    of listening to the community boards that provide New York neighbourhoods with
    a voice on planning issue…”

  • 5th Generation New Yorker

    Want to drive blithely at 45, 50, or 55 mph? There’s a suburban stroad with your name on it back in your hometown.

  • Andrew

    My hometown is New York. What’s yours?

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