Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday the city would renew its efforts on Vision Zero heading into the darkest days of the year, traditionally the deadliest time for pedestrians. After 19 people were killed and more than 5,000 were injured in city traffic during the month of October , according to City Hall, traffic fatalities declined nearly 50 percent thanks to efforts unveiled by the mayor on Oct. 27.
“With Vision Zero, we have said our agencies would work creatively to see what works -- and a month into the current Dusk and Dark Initiative, we have strong evidence that we can deter dangerous driving with targeted seasonal enforcement and education,” de Blasio said.
“Vision Zero has just begun, you ain’t seen nothing yet. This is just the beginning of something that is going to go much farther. We’re going to continue to deepen enforcement for months and years to come to drive down the number of fatalities. And all the good work at the Department of Transportation — changing traffic patterns, redesigning streets, adding more islands for pedestrians to stop at so they are safe, slowing down the traffic signals so that pedestrians have more time to cross the streets — all of those will have a big impact in the years to come.”
From Oct. 27 through last week, the NYPD issued more than 50,000 summonses for hazardous moving violations and placed additional Traffic Safety personnel at intersections and corridors with high rates of pedestrian injuries and fatal crashes during key dusk and darkness hours. The NYPD has also launched TrafficStat, an online database which will provide collision and crash data from around the city, accessible at traff
The online data was welcomed by Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, but after the deaths on Queens’ streets of 8-month-old Navraj Raju, 13-year-old Jazmine Marin, and a still unidentified man who was struck and killed in Corona Nov. 4 , he said much more needs to be done.
“While the November drop in traffic deaths cited in today’s press conference is encouraging, the overall trend this year has been anything but, with increases in hit-and-runs and pedestrian and cyclist fatalities,” Steely White said. “These fatalities, we hasten to add, are not on the rise because people are texting while walking and biking. In fact, most pedestrian and bike deaths are caused by reckless driving, on streets that are dangerously designed to encourage speeding.”
The safe streets advocate called for the mayor to invest in the redesign of hundreds of streets and intersections identified as “Vision Zero Priority Locations” nearly two years ago.
“Instead of brief enforcement blitzes followed by a return to business as usual, however, we need a sustained effort that focuses on these deadly driver behaviors all year long, across the precincts, to save lives in every community,” Steely White said.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr
©2016 Community News Group
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