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BREAKING: Mayor Calls for Immediate Crackdown on Reckless Drivers

6:49 PM EDT on July 1, 2019

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Brooklyn State Senator Zellnor Myrie called for Mayor de Blasio to do just that minutes before he did after the 15th cyclist fatality so far this year.

After a 15th cyclist of the year was killed on Monday afternoon, Mayor de Blasio issued the following statement:

We are seeing a dangerous surge in cyclist deaths on our streets, and we are taking action. I have directed the NYPD to immediately launch a major enforcement action that will encompass every precinct and crack down on dangerous driving behavior like parking in bike lanes. At the same time, I have charged the Department of Transportation with developing a new cyclist safety plan to make biking in our city safer.

No loss of life on our streets is acceptable. Last year was the safest year on record—and we have to keep pushing the envelope and increasing our efforts until we achieve Vision Zero.

The statement comes after an outcry of critics had called on the mayor to act, especially as three cyclists were hit and killed in the last seven days.

At a vigil for cyclist Ernest Askew — who was the 13th cyclist to die this year when he was killed in Brownsville last week — State Senator Zellnor Myrie said he appreciated the mayor's statement, but was concerned.

"The devil is in the details," said the freshman lawmaker. "People who've lost loved ones will want to see what it entails and the mayor should include these people and leaders in the advocacy community to make sure this is a real effort."

Transportation Alternatives' co-Interim Executive Director Marco Conner was more skeptical, issuing this statement:

While we appreciate the Mayor's statement, his words are only as good as the tangible action they produce from his own administration. The Mayor's efforts, to his great credit, have saved lives against all odds during the first five years of Vision Zero, but those efforts have been insufficient to truly match the public health crisis that traffic violence is -- a crisis that has claimed more than 1,100 lives on city streets since 2013.

The current crisis must be seized upon as the mandate it is to realize the full potential of Vision Zero. This means recognizing that cars and trucks are the cause of this epidemic; it means having the courage to say that every New Yorker's life and limb is worth more than any of the three million free parking spaces we devote streetspace to in NYC, and that their preservation must never, ever, come before our lives; and it means providing NYCDOT the resources for scaling up quickly to address this challenge with known and proven safety measures citywide at a level, and with the urgency, this crisis demands. This will be the measure for Mayor de Blasio.

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