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Friday’s Headlines: Vision Zero Goes National Edition

12:03 AM EST on January 28, 2022

File photo: Gersh Kuntzman

The day began with a U.S. Department of Transportation presser announcing that, in short, Vision Zero had gone national! (The Times had initial coverage, thanks to a pre-presser presser that we skipped for a community board meeting.)

"Humans make mistakes, and as good stewards of the transportation system, we should have in place the safeguards to prevent those mistakes from being fatal," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. "Zero is the only acceptable number of deaths and serious injuries on our roadways."

Wow. Could Mayor Pete's words from his bully pulpit encourage states and cities to get on board with Vision Zero? The jury is definitely out on that. After all, only a handful of members of Congress have even signed the toothless pledge to work towards reducing road violence. And when we asked New York State DOT to tell us how it intended to act on the new federal guidelines, the agency did not get back to us. (Update: the agency did finally send over a statement: “Safety is always the top priority at the New York State Department of Transportation. We look forward to reviewing the USDOT’s report and working with our federal partners on identifying additional measures to further increase the awareness of the dangers of inattention, distraction and speeds as well as actions to enhance the safety for all users of the transportation system.”)

But Kea Wilson at Streetsblog USA was at least enthusiastic about the symbolism and the words, if not the guidelines.

In other news:

    • MTA Chairman Janno Lieber continued to push back on the narrative that he needs to not only run a train system, but also a homeless shelter system and a mental health clinic. (amNY)
    • The Daily News covered Wednesday night's hit-and-run in The Bronx.
    • The Post and the Brooklyn Paper covered a non-fatal crash that injured a teenager in Brooklyn.
    • The Times, which is in the business of undermining progressive Democrats, did a seemingly objective analysis of how Harlem's new Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan has handled the aftermath of the shooting death of two cops in her district. But the piece is badly framed and dripping with contempt for would-be police reformers.
    • The sneering tone of that Times story matched its equally editorializing coverage of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, too.
    • A drunk driver slammed into Taylor Swift's building, but the upside, of course, is that she'll write a great song about it. (NYDN)
    • New litter baskets are coming to E. 86th Street! (amNY)
    • Finally, our old man editor is prone to make long-range forecasts, but he spent most of Thursday night screaming at the National Weather Service radar maps on his screen, saying, "I just don't see how that low in Florida is going to develop into as big a storm as they're saying. I'm thinking it's four-to-six in the city, but much more in New England." Well, we'll see later today, won't we? Here's the weather map as of early Friday:
Graphic: National Weather Service
Graphic: National Weather Service

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