Today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the new Borough Pedestrian Safety Plans as part of the Vision Zero Initiative which was implemented five years ago. The plans entail the next round of safety measures which intend to make New York City safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. Based on crash data, the city was able to identify that 7% of New York City streets are responsible for nearly half of pedestrian deaths. The new program calls for adding extra time to pedestrian lights giving people more time to cross the streets as well as retiming traffic lights in certain key areas to reduce speeding.
The Mayor was adamant to make Vision Zero work thus ensuring the safety of New York City residents. “Losing one life is one life too many, one person injured in a crash is one person too many”, he stated in a press conference alongside DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Bay Ridge resident Maureen Landers who was hit by a car in 2009, and whose son was also hit by a car in 2018.
Newly elected State Senator Andrew Gournades who also attended the press conference announced that he is going to push for the renewal and expansion of the speed camera program in school zones in this coming legislative session. “There is no reason why in a city of nearly 1800 schools we should have to pick and choose less than 10 percent of them that deserve protection from speeding traffic.”
2018 was the safest year for pedestrians in New York City in over a century, down almost a third from 2013, a year before Vision Zero was implemented. However, the Mayor pointed out some troubling developments; the city has experienced seven more fatalities this year compared to the same period last year.