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James Vacca

Vacca Constituent Asks: When Will City Council Get Real About Street Safety?

One of James Vacca's constituents in the East Bronx has had enough of the City Council transportation committee chair's fixation on bike enforcement while much more dangerous traffic threats go unaddressed.

Vincent Ferrari recorded a stop sign near his apartment for 25 minutes and found that the vast majority of drivers don't come to a stop. The footage is in this video clip, along with Ferrari's message to Vacca and the City Council. While I can't condone his decision to record commentary while driving, Ferrari's mode of choice does give a sense that frustration with Vacca's tough-on-bikes act extends beyond the livable streets crowd. Toward the end, he says:

All this being done to control bikes. What is being done to control cars? What? It's a joke. And I challenge anyone in the New York City Council to address the issue. I challenge you. Because while you're taking up issues of bike problems and bike this and bike that, the cars are running wild. Do something about it. It's your job.

We hear from Ferrari that Vacca said there should be zero tolerance for traffic violations and promised to take a look at the problematic intersection.

Of course, it's not just one intersection. New York City drivers run more than a million red lights each day [PDF], according to a 2001 report from the city comptroller's office. Nearly 40 percent of traffic exceeds the speed limit, according to a 2009 study by Transportation Alternatives. Motorists killed no fewer than 134 pedestrians and 21 cyclists last year. Where are the City Council hearings and the Vacca media blitz calling attention to these problems?

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