3/31/14

"Vision Zero" Forum at Brooklyn Borough Hall

In New York City, two hundred and fifty pedestrians were killed by traffic last year. Just this month, 7 Brooklyn residents have died in traffic. Getting hit by a vehicle is the leading cause of trauma death for children under 14 -- and the second leading cause for seniors.

On Tuesday, April 1 from 7-9 PM., NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg will host a forum at Brooklyn Borough Hall on "Vision Zero", Mayor Bill deBlasio's ambitious plan to reduce the city's traffic fatalities to zero by the year 2024.

Best to arrive by 6:30 PM.

Joining Trottenberg will be representatives from the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, the New York City Police Department, the Taxi and Limousine Commission, and grassroots advocacy organization Transportation Alternatives.

Borough President Eric Adams and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito co-host, and according to an email blast today, other co-hosts include Council Member Vinnie Gentile and a cohort of City Council Members too numerous to mention. 

Although public testimony is invited, it's doubtful that more than a fraction of the Brooklyn inputs could be covered in a 2-hour forum.

Trottenburg, during a forum last week at Medgar Evers College, announced that deadly Atlantic Avenue, where more than 1,400 pedestrians and cyclists were injured by vehicles from 2002-2013, would be among her top priorities.

Proponents of Vision Zero claim that it will mean stronger law enforcement, lower speed limits, better traffic engineering, new red light cameras and speedcams, speed bumps, and better lighting. Supposedly, we can expect better emergency response, more tickets for speeding, for failure to yield, for improper turns, and for phoning or texting at the wheel. And the NYPD is supposed to be investigating all crashes involving critical injuries.

But so far, I'm not impressed. As far as I know, the only evidence of Vision Zero in Bay Ridge is officers from the 68 Pct. spooking pedestrians with fake jaywalking tickets.

The city's anemic speed camera program launched in January with fewer than 20 cameras. In the two months since, those cameras have issued 11,715 tickets, though they're sited only in school zones, operate only during school hours, and issue tickets only for exceeding the posted limit by 10 mph.

But is there any money in the state budget deal hammered out over the weekend for new speed and red light cameras? Bupkis.

The article from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The forum drew a big turnout (Brooklyn Eagle.)

Undeterred, drivers continue to see themselves as a persecuted class [Brooklyn Daily.]

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