Source: formulanone/Flickr

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.

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  • BrooklynBus

    About the 25 mph speed limit, is that still dependent on street width including the sidewalks or is it for all streets because that would just be ridiculous?

  • vasya

    Speed limit should be increased not decreased. Takes forever to get around Brooklyn.
    Oh and more taxes on middle class are coming in form of tickets. Impeach deblasio before nyc turns into a dump it was during dinkins!!!!!

    • BrooklynBus

      And if so many motorists violate a 30 mph speed limit, why would anyone think that a 25 mph limit will be observed? It will result in more speeders and more revenue for the City, and more road rage. Also, many of those drivers will not be doing anything dangerous.

      Those for a 25 mph limit do not drive and do not realize how slow that feels on many local streets. Just lower the limit on streets where it needs to be lowered, if safety is the real issue, but that would cost too much for signage and would not bring in all that extra revenue which is what it all is about regardless of what the politicians tell you.

      • Kriston Lewis

        Signage means nothing without enforcement, you’d have the same problem. I could understand a 30 MPH limit on a wider thoroughfare, but a narrow residential block shouldn’t be a drag strip.

        • BrooklynBus

          Agreed. Very narrow streets need to be 15 or 20. But some wide streets should be 35 or 40 in the lane away from parked cars. The current limit on all streets unless otherwise specified is 30.

          • Kriston Lewis

            The lane thing sounds hard to enforce, and would probably open the floodgates for more tickets.

        • NYC Cit

          You don’t need to drive the speed limit at all times, you can drive slower, you know that right? Also I can run at 30mph, it’s not that fast… 65 would be fast.

          • BrooklynBus

            Of course you can drive slower but some don’t realize that and will honk at anyone going lower than the limit. But with all the potholes around its harder to go faster than 20 anyway on some streets. Don’t fix them and you wouldn’t have to worry about anyone speeding. I’m sure some people would love that.

          • http://www.mybrooklyn.com/ MyBrooklyn

            You are about pot holes…bad idea not fixing it because no matter how often I drive I still hit a pot holes….I already had had one flat tire and damage to my front bumper…and I was going fast 30 and or sometimes below 30

          • Kriston Lewis

            I don’t know if it’s the case here, but I’ve read about cases where people were cited for going too slow, since they become a hazard to other people on the road.

            Also I can run at 30mph, it’s not that fast… 65 would be fast.

            Impressive. (And I’m not being sarcastic.)

    • ArnietheK

      Don’t you think that you’re overreacting just a tad? DeBlasio has been in office for less than two months and you’re already calling for his impeachment over a legitimate policy proposal. Give the poor guy a chance before you condemn him.

  • ArnietheK

    I object to this story’s gratuitious swipe at motorists as “me-first drivers.” To be sure, there are selfish and self-centered drivers who put their needs and concerns above the public interest. But not all motorists lack a sense of civic responsibility.
    There may be legitimate reasons to oppose the mayor’s proposed traffic iniitiatives from a policy standpoint. It is unfair to paint an entire group with such a broad brush. The story would have read just as well without this editorial comment.

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      It was specifically referring to me-first drivers – the selfish, self-centered ones. Not the others. But it was also tongue-in-cheek.

      • Kriston Lewis

        I don’t remember the exact joke, but it says something like: the guy who’s going slower than me is an idiot and they guy going faster than I am is a maniac.

        The general idea is that people sometimes give themselves too much credit when it comes to their driving abilities.

        • gustaajedrez

          That was comedian George Carlin.

          Though I read an article in favor of increasing speed limits that used that quote in a different way. Basically saying that most people travel at a speed they feel comfortable with, regardless of the posted speed limit, so anybody going significantly faster or slower is going to stand out.

  • BrooklynCBR

    This is pathetic. Vision zero only penalizes the people who don’t need any micro-managing. People that want to drive 70MPH will still do so, even when the speed limit is 25, 30, 55, or whatever it may be. Instead of looking at the amount of accidents/fatalities over the last year; why don’t they look at type of accident that caused the pedestrian fatality. If cars are driving 30MPH now and it’s causing too many deaths, ok, it makes sense, lower the speed limit to 25 — but this isn’t the case.

    Year after year these politicians keep going after the drivers when in fact, they need to focus on the PEDESTRIANS. I’m not saying there’s a link between the increase rate in injuries and increased usage of smart phones, but why don’t they start ticketing people who use their phone and cross the street — they might as well, that’s how they treat the drivers of this city.

    Ridiculous.

    Going after people that are jay walking in busy streets will be an EFFECTIVE measure to reduce the amount of accidents, going after pedestrians that cross the street in a “reckless” matter is no different than a reckless driver, or a person driving without a seat belt. Both individuals decided to put their life in danger, why is it that only the driver gets fined?

    • Kriston Lewis

      The report says that about half of incidents are the fault of reckless driving, and the other half is divided between reckless pedestrians alone, and both reckless pedestrians and drivers being stupid together.

      Spending police resources on ticketing and harassing pedestrians would be a colossal waste. Redesigning streets so cars and pedestrians don’t have to conflict so much would be a better solution.

    • BrooklynBus

      Our beloved Former State Senator Kruger did submit a bill to ticket those crossing the street with headphones in their ears. But talking to someone on Bluetooth and not paying attention is just as bad. I said it before and will say it again. You can’t legislate common sense.

      • Kriston Lewis

        That’s the dumbest thing ever, someone can be distracted without headphones too.

        • ShadowLock

          yea, stupidity is very distracting.

    • ArnietheK

      What about law-abiding pedestrians who get hit in the crosswalk by turning vehicles who do not yield the right-of-way? You can’t cross the street at certain intersections even with the light.

  • MicoJones

    Widening parking lanes will create smaller driving lanes Mr De Blasio. About the only initiative I can agree with is better lighting conditions. When are we making the switch to LED across the city? It’s an investment worth looking into.

    • BrooklynBus

      He wants narrower driving lanes to make you go slower so it will be impossible to get anywhere and then you might take the bus or train.

      He has said nothing about more thorough investigations of accidents and proper punishment of drivers who are guilty. How do you kill someone and get charged with failure to yield the right of way. It is either involuntary manslaughter or you are innocent of all charges.

      I have already seen LED traffic signals which are only a few years old with missing dots. I thought they were supposed to last like 20 years. Before when a signal went dead it was fixed. Will the City wait until there is only one LED bulb working before it repairs LED lights?

  • BrooklynCBR

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/images/about/antispeed_billboard_480.jpg

    Here’s what needs to be considered:

    > “NYC’s traffic fatality rate is about a quarter of the national rate and less than half the rate in the next 10 largest U.S. cities.” — Means we’re doing pretty well, for anyone who will argue the amount of accidents is unacceptable.

    > “Traffic crashes cost the City’s economy $4.29 billion annually.” — this is why this “vision zero” plan is in place, not because it’s intended to save lives.

    > “Most New Yorkers do not know the city’s standard speed limit is 30 m.p.h.” — making the speed limit 25 still won’t help most New Yorkers know the speed limit. This is a problem that needs to be addressed more than the vision zero plan.

    > “Manhattan has four times as many pedestrian killed or severely injured per mile of street compared to the other four boroughs.” — This is where the mayor needs to focus if he wants to reduce the accidents. Hell, lower the speed limit to whatever you want, it’s not like anyone can drive faster than 30mph on these streets anyway.

    Statistics from: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/pedestrians/pedsafetyreport.shtml

    *Edit: Sorry Ned, not sure if posting pictures in the comment section is prohibited or not. If so, I don’t mind removing the image. Thanks

    • ShadowLock

      you read my mind. i was JUST gonna look for that….. i seen this on buses.

    • guest

      damn right !

  • bagels

    I knew this guy was going to be a problem the minute he was caught eating a slice with a knife and fork.

  • guest

    Drivers can be bad. Check. Pedestrians can be bad. Check. Can’t help thinking there is a group of reckless clowns out there missing from any of these articles. Oh that’s right. Stupid me. Cyclist never cause any accidents or do any harm. You want revenue? Ticket the out of control renegade cyclists.

    Also, lower the speed limit to 10 mph because it won’t matter. Morons are going to continue to go 80 mph whenever they damn well please. Moron pedestrians are going to continue looking at their smartphones without given a damn about anything else.

    You will never get rid of stupid people. You will never get rid of cars. And drivers are not going to switch to public transportation here anytime soon. The subways and buses of this city are the laughing stock of the world due to a company only interested in lining it’s own pockets and zero interest in the public. There are a million and one reasons why people avoid public transportation when possible here.

    • guest

      this is what the politicians dont realize obviously

  • madeline c

    nyc is broke as it is now he has to spend money. money that we dont have to make new signs for the all roads .this major is stupid and he wants to add more camers . . camers cause back ups and more traffic . stop giving licenses out to people that dont speck english ..

    • http://www.chickenunderwear.com Chicken Underwear

      Who says NYC is broke?

  • TheGenXFactor

    I am curious about something. How will this enforcement affect those of us who try to be considerate but practical?

    Many
    a time when turning, slowly and carefully, we drivers tend to work our
    way through gaps in the pedestrians who are crossing the street. It is a
    judgment call and often we wave on the pedestrian who we are required
    to yield to anyway. Very often a pedestrian will wave us on if they
    realize that we are dealing with a difficult traffic situation. I see
    this every day both as a driver and pedestrian; it would be a shame to
    lose this nicety of New York life. As a driver my usual problems are
    the few fools behind me who blow the horn or race around me when I am
    taking it slowly or waiting on a slower vehicle, giving space to a
    another driver negotiating a difficult situation or yielding to a
    pedestrian. I am certain that the latter is where many pedestrian
    injuries occur. When a driver cuts around another who has knowledge of
    the situation that he does not. Many time when people cut their left
    from behind me, they nearly kill a pedestrian. Sadly, those of us who
    are smart walkers and considerate drivers will probably get the
    summonses under this crackdown not those who need it. Since 89 when i
    started driving never had a violation; maybe this will be my first. It
    will just be another indignity that replaces one wrong with two, a
    common occurrence here.

    • guest

      Very true and completely agreed. There will always be that set of individuals who believe what you wrote is a complete fabrication and does not exist. That faction will be the one to win out. Though, now we can get people talking about how not everyone is perfect and maybe the current proposals are simply not the best solution thanks to CBS2 catching the mayors motorcade not exactly following the rules of the road themselves.

    • BrooklynBus

      You are 100% correct. As a pedestrian I often wave drivers to go first when I see they are waiting in a place that is blocking other traffic from moving. Once I was patiently waiting at a green light as an elderly pedestrian was finishing crossing the intersection. The guy behind me just assumed I was asleep, not seeing the pedestrian himself. What was I supposed to do? Honking my horn wouldn’t make him walk faster. So the guy behind me gives a long blast of his horn instead of two polite quick beeps. I just ignored him.

    • Andrew

      Many a time when turning, slowly and carefully, we drivers tend to work our way through gaps in the pedestrians who are crossing the street.

      As I’m pretty sure you realize, if by working your way through gaps you’re forcing pedestrians to stop, slow, or change their course, then you aren’t yielding to them. The law places the sole responsibility on the motorist to yield to pedestrians when turning, as the motorist is operating a piece of equipment that has the potential to kill or cause serious injury.

      Yes, that sometimes means that only one or two cars will be able to complete a turn before the light changes. But the same holds for left turns off of two-way streets with steady oncoming traffic, which most motorists are willing to tolerate.

      Very often a pedestrian will wave us on if they realize that we are dealing with a difficult traffic situation.

      Unless you’re certain that there’s only one pedestrian in the area, I don’t recommend relying on a wave. There may be other pedestrians crossing who have every intention to keep going.

      As a pedestrian, I don’t wave, for fear of inadvertently directing a motorist to hit another pedestrian. If an approaching motorist signals a turn and slows down for me, I generally return the courtesy by quickening my pace across the street.

      • TheGenXFactor

        Thanks for the thoughts Andrew, it is my fault for not being as clear as I should have. What I meant by working my way through gaps is that I only proceed when the moving pedestrians have absolutely no way of reaching the location where I am going to move through the crosswalk. The criteria that I was taught is that the pedestrian should not have to vary his cadence or direction of travel for my maneuver to respect the fact that I must yield right-of-way to him.

        The law never states who has right-of-way, only who has to yield it. Thus, it is imperative on me to not solely rely on a considerate pedestrian but to be aware of every other person and object around me. The nice pedestrian does not speak for the others around me that I am obligated to check for and automatically yield to.

        I don’t know if you drive a vehicle much, but I can tell you that a common inexperienced driver mistake is only making judgments based on what is in the forward field of vision. A pedestrian approaching from the rear quarter will be outside of this field of view, but will cross path in many cases. And, of course, still has right-of-way.

        My main point is that we have become an increasingly narcissistic and self-centered society. These debates and solutions and their necessity are a sad commentary on what we lost. Some of us miss a nicer society and look with sadness on what we have to become because of this loss.

        • http://www.chickenunderwear.com Chicken Underwear

          or maybe you should just wait till everyone who is walking finishes crossing the street.

          • Allan Rosen

            That is totally impractical at most intersections in NYC. You would miss the traffic signal and traffic would be backed up. If there are a lot of people waiting to cross, when the light turns green, and after everyone crosses, the light might turn red again before you can move if you wait for everyone to step up onto the sidewalk before proceeding. So you wait there forever?

          • http://www.chickenunderwear.com Chicken Underwear

            Yes, they go first. That’s the law. That’s what yeald means.

            http://www.safeny.ny.gov/peds-ndx.htm#crosswalks

            When there is no traffic control signal, drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, particularly if a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, or there is potential danger to the pedestrian [Section 1151, NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law].

          • Allan Rosen

            Not necessarily. That is your interpretation of what yield means. Yes, if you are both at the same point at the same time, you must wait forthe pedestrian to clear your path. Then you can proceed. There is no law that requires you to wait for them to step up on the opposite curb before you can proceed. That is what you stated the law requires.

            Also, if the street is wide and the pedestrian starts walking across the street, there is no logical reason for you to wait for the pedestrian if you can complete your turn before the pedestrian approaches your car at the speed he is walking. You are not interfering with his movement by making him wait for you, so therefore you are not blocking his right of way.

          • http://www.chickenunderwear.com Chicken Underwear

            Yield means let them go first. I don’t think the person walking has to be on the curb before you go, but if you go in front of them you are “not yielding to them”. But you can be like 99.9% of the drivers in NYC and do whatever you want.

          • Allan Rosen

            I never said the person has to be on the curb before you go? Yield means if you are both there at the same time, you let them go first. It does not mean you wait 20 seconds for them to get to the point where you will be crossing their path. And no I am not like 99.9 % of the drivers in NYC. If I am wrong, prove it. The citation you gave does not say what you are saying.

          • http://www.chickenunderwear.com Chicken Underwear

            shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian legally crossing the roadway on which he is driving, – See more at:

            http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/VAT/VII/26/1142#sthash.g5puXGLZ.dpuf

          • user0001

            And this idiot, who doesn’t understand what yield means, claims to be some sort of authority on transit? Jesus christ. This is like claiming to have a phd in evolutionary biology from brigham young.

          • Allan Rosen

            Insult all you want. You still haven’t proved that I am wrong. See my response above to Chicken Underwear. It makes no sense on a wide street to wait for someone to cross five traffic lanes before they approach your car, if you can cross in front of them and they still will have four lanes to cross.

          • user0001

            Stop making up 5 lane situations with single pedestrians you shmuck, the discussion is about pushing through a continuous group of crossing pedestrians. It’s also not about being at the same place at the same time it’s about being on a course to be at the same point at the same time. If you’re pushing your way through openings in between pedestrians you’re forcing crossing pedestrians to stop and yield to you and therefore you’re not yielding to their right of way. Yield, as in give up possession or right to, which you are not doing if your 2 ton vehicles if threatening pedestrians with its movement you dumbass.

          • Allan Rosen

            I rarely call people names, but I will make an exception this time. You are the SCHMUCK. You are the one making up situations not me. Reread what the GenXFactor wrote, not what you said he wrote. He said “working my way through gaps”. He also said that he does not interfere with the movement of pedestrians. Those were the exact points I was making in my example.

            You translated “working your way” into “pushing your way.” That is not the same thing! Of course, under your scenario which I am not debating, you are correct, dumbass. You are so anxious to make your point, you are too blind to correctly read what others are saying.

          • Andrew

            Chicken Underwear is correct. If you’ve forced the pedestrian to stop or slow down for you, then you haven’t yielded to him or her.

          • Allan Rosen

            That’s exactly what I was saying also. So what is the problem? Why are you always looking to disagree?

          • gustaajedrez

            Exactly. By just going when you have the chance, you’re out of the way of the pedestrian so it’s one less car they have to worry about running them over. If everybody followed the law to the letter, there would be unnecessary stress on both the driver and pedestrian, and the drivers wouldn’t get anywhere.

            Of course, it goes to the other extreme, where you have a steady stream of cars turning, and when the pedestrian finally gets to the crosswalk, nobody wants to yield. So the pedestrian ends up being put in the position of crossing after the pedestrian light has expired. For instance, at this intersection near my old middle school, you had schoolkids dashing across 5 lanes of traffic on Richmond Avenue against the light, when cars turning from Draper Place refused to yield.

          • Allan Rosen

            Also, when you get out of the way, you are not blocking traffic preventing other cars from moving.

            As far as your second paragraph, to avoid that, at heavy pedestrian crossings, the walk signals turns on ten seconds before the light turns green giving pedestrians a head start so it is more difficult for cars to push their way through. The problem with that is the reverse of the one you describe. After the pedestrians finish crossing, the signal turns red so one or two cars finish their turn on the red, and everyone else has to wait two or three cycles just to make a turn. If they don’t turn on the red, no one will ever move, so it is impossible to follow the letter of the law.
            Solutions in that case are not that simple.

            You have a similar situation in very heavy traffic regarding blocking the box, if the turning movements are heavy. Thevturning cars use up all the available queue space

          • Andrew

            How altruistic of you! You bully pedestrians out of the way not for your own convenience but rather for the greater good of traffic flow. Why don’t you tell the families of the children killed in crosswalks by scofflaw motorists that their children died in the name of traffic flow? I’m sure they’re be relieved to hear it.

            The reason LPI’s (leading pedestrian intervals) exist is to give pedestrians a chance to establish their rightful positions in the crosswalk before drivers have the chance to cut them off. If drivers routinely obeyed the yield laws, LPI’s wouldn’t be necessary.

            I’m curious. If pedestrians are instructed to never cross mid-block, and pedestrians are instructed to never cross on the red light, and now you are instructing pedestrians to never cross with the light when motorists are turning, then how exactly should pedestrians cross the street? Maybe they should just stay home? If anybody wonders why so many pedestrians find it safer to cross against the light or mid-block when they see a gap in traffic, Allan’s “logic” is your answer.

          • Allan Rosen

            What the hell are you talking about? I never instructed pedrstrians to never cross with the light when motorists are turning! Why are you making things up accusing me of saying things I never said just to argue and disagree?

            Maybe I should also start making up things you never said just to have a fight with you if that’s how you want to play.

          • Andrew

            It’s no less practical than waiting for opposing traffic to pass before turning left. The only difference is that you probably don’t cut in front of an approaching car for fear of injuring or killing yourself, while you’re apparently happy to threaten to injure or kill a pedestrian in order to persuade him to wait and let you go first.

            The law prioritizes pedestrian lives over vehicle throughput. I’m sorry that you’d prefer to see the opposite priority, but I didn’t write the law.

          • Allan Rosen

            Again, you are putting words in my mouth. Stop it already! I never said you should persuade a pedestrian to wait and let you go first. I specifically stated, the only time you go in front of a pedestrian is if you can go through without him having to wait or slow down or you which is the exact same thing The GenXFactor said. However, when he says it, you agree with him and when I say it, you change what I say so you can disagree.

            I think you may be misreading what I wrote because you are so anxious to disagree. When I stated it was impractical to wait for everyone to finish crossing the street, I did not mean that after a few people start crossing, you push your way through so the others can’t get off the sidewalk and start walking. That would be wrong. Of course you wait until everyone finishes crossing. Maybe I misread what Chicken Underwear was saying. I thought he was saying that when you are waiting for someone to cross the street, and he passes in front of your car, you cannot proceed until he or they reach he opposite curb.

          • Allan Rosen

            That is what I meant was ridiculous and is what i thought he was saying. Rereading what he wrote, I now see there were two possible interpretations. Sorry if I caused any confusion. I never meant to indicate you should ever cut off pedestrians.

        • Andrew

          I agree absolutely with everything you say here. I especially appreciate this language of yours: “The criteria that I was taught is that the pedestrian should not have to vary his cadence or direction of travel for my maneuver to respect the fact that I must yield right-of-way to him.”

  • guest

    The prior regime, hipsters and elite cyclists have destroyed this city forever. No turning back.

    • Andrew

      Was Kaneez Hussein a hipster or elite cyclist? Gedalia Gruntzweig? James Benedict? Petro Santiago? Angela Hurtado? Cooper Stock? Nydja Herring? Mosa Khatun? Xiaoci Hu? Margarita Seda? Ruben Rivera? Min Lin? William Pena? Stanislav Chernyshov? Martha Tibillin-Guamug?

  • ShadowLock

    Yea……….People like this are responsible for their own deaths. And somehow it’s the drivers fault.

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