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Pedestrian safety

New Traffic Monitoring Toolkit Can Get You Started on Street Safety Activism

4:42 PM EDT on March 31, 2011

Just about every New Yorker knows off the top of their head exactly what the most dangerous intersections in their neighborhood are (for me, it's got to be the western end of 125th Street). But what most New Yorkers don't know is what to do about it. Now, thanks to Transportation Alternatives' new Neighborhood Traffic Monitoring Toolkit [PDF], there's a step-by-step guide for citizens to track traffic violations on their streets and press community leaders to improve street safety.

The guide includes tips on each step of the process, from choosing what to measure (speeding, though dangerous, is hard to measure without a radar gun) to targeting the right officials (don't go for your police precinct's commanding officer but his number two, the executive officer). The toolkit includes form letters for writing to your community board chair and City Council member, templates for counting traffic violations, and survey questions to pose to pedestrians walking by.

“To understand why there are so many injuries and fatalities on our streets every year, we need accurate, localized data," said T.A. executive director Paul Steely White in a statement. "The Neighborhood Traffic Monitoring Toolkit empowers ordinary people to make their communities safer.”

Of course, the toolkit is just to get activists started; you can always contact T.A. for more hands-on assistance.

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