More Vision, More Zero(es); Better L-ternatives; Rosenthal Recap; StreetsPoll Results

More Vision, More Zero(es): New Data Shows Uptick in City Traffic Deaths

Streetsblog reported Tuesday that New York City had – after several months – updated its Vision Zero View map, and the news, unfortunately, isn't good: traffic deaths increased in the first six months of the year vs. the same period in 2015.

Overall, 111 people died in traffic crashes from January to June, an increase of four deaths from the year-ago period. People on foot accounted for 58 of the fatalities, and 12 people riding bikes were killed, vs. 63 and 5, respectively, in the first half of 2015.

Traffic injuries suffered by pedestrians and cyclists, which as Streetsblog points out are less subject to random variation, also increased, up 9% vs. last year (injuries to people on bikes were up 15%). The city does not report on the severity of injuries.

While the increase in traffic deaths and injuries isn't catastrophic (a particularly bloody June accounted for all of the bump in deaths), they're a stark reminder that the city needs to double down on its commitment to Vision Zero if we're going to achieve the goal of eliminating all traffic deaths by 2024. And that means putting significantly more money and effort into redesigning city streets, especially our deadliest arterial roads.

Vision Zero is first and foremost about the way streets are engineered. And while the City Council requested a 25% increase in funding for street redesigns in the new budget, City Hall did not adhere to the Council's request. Occasional NYPD crackdowns on dangerous driving and marketing campaigns are no substitute for safer street designs.

We know how to achieve Vision Zero. The question is whether we have the political will. A good demonstration of that would be having the vision to add some zeroes to NYC DOT's capital budget.

Coping with L-pocalypse? Banning Cars on 14th Street is the Right L-ternative
The MTA announced on Monday that it would go with the full-shutdown option for the L line when it begins repairing the Canarsie Tunnel in January 2019. The 18-month repair project – a much better option than a three-year partial shutdown – was supported by nearly 80% of L riders, according to the agency.

That said, the absence of L service for a year and a half will create a real hardship for the 300,000+ people who depend on the subway line. How to deal with it? For starters, the MTA and New York City DOT need to get on board with calls to ban cars from 14th Street in Manhattan and to dedicate a good portion of the Williamsburg Bridge's roadway – if not all of it – to bus-only lanes.

We support Transportation Alternatives' proposal for a 14th Street PeopleWay, which calls for restricting private automobile traffic, implementing bus lanes and protected bike lanes, and widening sidewalks from river to river. A number of elected officials, including several StreetsPAC endorsees, have expressed support for the idea, and you can, too, by signing TA's 14th Street PeopleWay petition here.

The suspension of L service for 18 months will certainly make life difficult, but prioritizing transit and biking along the route can prevent it from turning into L on earth. 

Thanks for Making Our Fundraiser for Helen Rosenthal a Success!


Thanks to those of you who joined us last week at the fundraiser we co-hosted for Upper West Side City Council Member (and 2013 StreetsPAC endorsee) Helen Rosenthal. The event was a great success, and we (and Helen!) are grateful for your support.

Helen has delivered on her commitments to safe- and complete-streets projects and policies, demonstrated by her support for the recently completed Amsterdam Avenue protected bike lane and for getting cars out of Central Park, and her introduction of a bill that would provide unrestricted access to buildings for people with folding bicycles (she rides one herself!).

If you didn't get a chance to attend the fundraiser, but would like to support Helen's re-election, you can contribute at

And of course, we rely upon your financial support for our ongoing work. Donate to StreetsPAC here!

StreetsPoll Results: Fixing NYC's Pokey Buses Will Require All of the Above

Hot on the heels of the release of Transit Center's new report, Turnaround: Fixing New York City's Buses, we asked you in last week's StreetsPoll about the best way to speed up New York City's slowest-moving transit option. Unsurprisingly, you agreed that the answer requires a comprehensive approach, including rethinking the bus network and routes, modernizing boarding and fare payment, improving scheduling, and redesigning streets to give buses priority.

Congratulations to Dulcie Canton of Brooklyn, the randomly selected winner of a StreetsPAC t-shirt from among respondents to last week's StreetsPoll.


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commented 2016-07-29 16:41:29 -0400 · Flag
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