Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday unveiled the 63-points of his Vision Zero proposal aimed at eliminating pedestrian deaths, and some of the steps make Michael Bloomberg look like a Detroit industry lobbyist.
De Blasio’s plan pushes a citywide reduction of the speed limit to 25 miles per hour from the current 30, as well as the installation of more speed and red light cameras, more cops focused on moving violations, and – everyone’s favorites – more speed bumps, bike lanes and possibly pedestrian plazas across the five boroughs.
It’s not all bad news for me-first drivers; the plan also calls for widening parking lanes to keep delivery vehicles out of travel lanes, and investigating an automated system that would penalize taxicabs by pausing their meters if the driver exceeds the speed limit. They’re also looking at improving street lighting at more than 1,000 intersections.
Here’s some background from the New York Times:
Some of the mayor’s proposals — like lowering the citywide speed limit to 25 miles per hour from 30 and expanding the installation of red-light and speed-tracking cameras that issue tickets — require approval in the state capital, where the administration is asking lawmakers to approve a tax increase on the city’s top earners to finance prekindergarten programs.
Though the Bloomberg administration pressed the Legislature for years, with mixed success, to approve the expansion of automated enforcement cameras, Mr. de Blasio predicted “a receptive audience in Albany” this time around.
Pursuing jaywalkers will not remain a part of the plan, de Blasio noted, although the city has issued 215 summonses for jaywalking in a little over a month, compared to 27 over the same period last year.
More cops are also proposed, particularly to crack down on bad turning. amNY reports:
Citing police statistics that speeding and “inappropriate turning” were to blame in 70% of pedestrian fatalities, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the department would increase the number of officers devoted to deterring bad driving and investigating crashes.
There are about 250 pedestrians deaths and 4,000 serious injuries a year, the report says.
Some more stats from the Wall Street Journal:
Since Mr. de Blasio took office Jan. 1, more than 20 people have been killed in traffic crashes, he said. In 2013, according to a preliminary tally, there were 286 traffic deaths, a 3% increase from 2012 and a 15% increase from 2011.
On a related note, the city doled out nearly 4,000 speeding tickets since the installation of speed cameras last month, the mayor said.