Why did the chicken cross the road? Because the New York City Mayor made streets safe again.
State Senator Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend), Assemblywoman Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Sheepshead Bay, Borough Park and Midwood) and City Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights) rallied behind Mayor Bill de Blasio today at I.S. 259 William McKinley School in Bay Ridge as he released the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) new Borough Pedestrian Safety Plans.
The initiative aims to target the next wave of streets and intersections the City will make safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. Using the latest crash data, the City will aim to target just 7 percent (424 miles) of the city’s streets that are responsible for nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities.
“Using our data-driven approach, we have identified hotspots around the city that are driving the majority of traffic fatalities, and are implementing targeted plans there and across the city that will make our streets safer for all. After our success last year with the safest year on record, we will continue building towards a safer and fairer city for all,” said de Blasio.
Using new data, DOT is identifying new Priority Locations around the city. Some locations are receiving more in-depth interventions than they had previously, while new locations will receive critical safety upgrades. Places in Brooklyn being targeted include:
Linden Blvd – (Flatbush Av to Sapphire St)
8th Avenue – (39th Street to 73rd Street)
Surf Avenue – (Ocean Parkway to Atlantic Avenue)
Bedford Avenue – (Manhattan Avenue to Flatbush Avenue)
The plans also include new actions to be completed by the end of 2019 like adding exclusive pedestrian crossing time (LPIs) at every feasible intersection on all new Priority Corridors; modifying signal timing to reduce speeding on all feasible new Priority Corridors; launching Integrated Data-Driven Speed Reducer Program (speed humps & speed cushions); tracking Vision Zero Violations at the Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas and launching multiple visibility and enforcement programs.
“The safety of our streets is paramount. Through effective policies, engineering, community engagement, and enforcement we can save lives and prevent injury. No one should have to cross their fingers while crossing the street, hoping to make it to the other side,” said Gounardes.
By the end of 2019, the City aims to change traffic signals on all the newly added corridors to discourage speeding, and give pedestrians exclusive crossing time at 300 intersections to prevent crashes.
However, Brannan wants to also include a push to change the City’s culture and favoritism towards cars especially as alternative forms of transportation become available, like e-scooters and bike sharing companies.
“Yes, it’s about focusing on particular corners and corridors but it’s also about calling out and correcting a pervasive car culture where people are merely obstacles. Having a real candid community conversation about pedestrian safety is important. This is about saving lives. We can, and must, do better. I appreciate this Administration’s commitment to Vision Zero,” said Brannan.
In recent weeks, South Brooklyn has seen an uptick in traffic accidents including an accident on 86th Street and 21st Avenue where a person was rushed to the hospital after being hit by a truck; on Stillwell Avenue and Bay Parkway, where a woman was killed crossing the street; on 73rd Street and 19th Avenue, where a man was struck and killed in a scooter accident; and on 65th Street and 18th Avenue, where a man was hit by a car.
“I am here in support of any and all traffic calming measures. We need them 9 years ago when I was hit by a car and we needed them last year when my son was hit by a car, we need them today and tomorrow. I would like to have confidence that my children can travel the streets of Bay Ridge and New York safely,” said Maureen Landers, a founder of B.R.A.K.E.S. (Bay Ridge Advocates Keeping Everyone Safe) and a traffic accident survivor.
Vision Zero started is currently in its sixth year and its purpose is to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries on New York City streets by 2024.
“Pedestrian fatalities are a very serious issue in our district. We have some of the most dangerous corridors in the borough including Cropsey, Neptune and Mermaid Avenues. But we can bring pedestrian fatalities down. The numbers are in and it’s working,” said Frontus.