StreetsPAC Commends Mayor de Blasio's Creation of Vision Zero Working Group, Commitment to Traffic Safety

StreetsPAC commends Mayor Bill de Blasio's announcement today of the creation of an interagency working group charged with implementing his Vision Zero plan and developing a blueprint for eliminating deadly crashes from New York City streets.  We look forward to aiding the Department of Transportation, NYPD, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Taxi & Limousine Commission in any way we can as they create a comprehensive road map over the next 30 days for making the city's streets measurably safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and drivers.

We are committed to helping the de Blasio Administration and the New York City Council win home rule, so that New York City can protect the health and safety of its citizens without first having to seek approval from Albany. The city must be able to set a lower citywide speed limit and deploy life-saving speed and red-light cameras as it sees fit.  We will also support the Mayor's efforts to seek stiffer criminal penalties for drivers who kill or injure when they disobey traffic laws or are otherwise negligent.

Mayor de Blasio won StreetsPAC's endorsement during the Democratic Mayoral primary and in November's general election largely on the strength of his commitment to Vision Zero and the quest to eliminate traffic fatalities in New York City.  We're deeply gratified to see him following through so strongly on his campaign promises in such a timely fashion.  We applaud his appointment of US DOT Under Secretary for Policy Polly Trottenberg as the city's Transportation Commissioner; her dedication to making New York City's streets safer for all users was made clear from day one of the de Blasio Administration.  And as we stated last month, we're heartened by Police Commissioner Bratton's commitment to making enforcement of dangerous driving violations a top priority for the NYPD.  His plan to significantly increase the number of police officers dedicated to traffic enforcement is an important step in that direction.

Today's announcement is a good first step by Mayor de Blasio in what will surely be a long and arduous journey to achieving Vision Zero.  The critical work of redesigning dangerous corridors and intersections, lowering speed limits and increasing penalties for drivers who kill or maim will doubtlessly meet resistance in certain quarters.  The Mayor will need to be firm in his resolve.  But traffic violence is an epidemic that takes the lives of far too many New Yorkers and forever affects the lives of countless others.  We applaud Mayor de Blasio for making Vision Zero an important part of his vision for a better New York.  We look forward to the findings of the interagency working group.

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