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Around and a Roundy: The Mayor’s Transportation Panel is Dominated by Cars

12:01 AM EDT on May 19, 2020

Cartoon: Bill Roundy

Editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy
Editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy
Editorial cartoon of Bill Roundy by editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy.

Our editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy is like an artisanal butcher, carefully slicing away gristle to get to the bone.

And this week, that means deploying his razor sharp scimitar on the mayor's "surface transportation" recovery panel, which, as Streetsblog reported last week, has nine car or driver advocates, and just three bona-fide planners, among its 24 members.

To Roundy, car owners and their advocates don't need more voices whispering into the mayor's ear about the needs of drivers — of which he is, famously, one. This is a mayor who created Vision Zero based on three "E"s: engineering (so streets are safer), education (so drivers are reacquainted with basic concern for their fellow New Yorkers) and enforcement (so the most reckless among them will be brought to justice) — yet left out the most important, "fourth E": elimination.

The mayor has no strategy for reducing car ownership or car use, despite his support for better bike lanes and lower speed limits.

Yet car elimination is the surest way to make the streets safer: During the coronavirus pandemic, when total vehicle miles traveled by cars declined by more than 80 percent, the city went 63 days between pedestrian deaths, the longest streak on record when it ended on Monday.

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