Transportation Alternatives has launched a campaign seeking the transformation of New York City’s most dangerous major streets, known to transportation planners as “arterials.” New Yorkers in neighborhoods across the five boroughs are calling on the de Blasio administration to adopt a plan to rebuild these corridors and begin work on that plan by 2017.
Multi-lane speedways like Queens Boulevard, Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, Fifth and Sixth avenues in Manhattan and Richmond Terrace in Staten Island are the site of more than half of the pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in New York City, even though these corridors make up only 15 percent of the road network.
These are the streets that New Yorkers can’t avoid, because they’re home to business districts and essential transportation links.
“You probably have one of these big, scary streets close to where you live. Maybe it cuts right through your community,” says Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “New York City has the greatest density of pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users in the country by far, but our arterials are no different from those in Houston, Phoenix or Atlanta – they were designed at a time when the goal was only to move lots of cars quickly. That’s not consistent with what makes New York great.”
When he was a candidate for mayor, Bill de Blasio made a campaign pledge to overhaul dangerous corridors. Now his administration must begin work on arterials if the city is to reach the Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2024.
“We need major streets that are safe--not deadly--for walkers and bikers, corridors that recognize the inherent efficiency of buses, streets that serve as destinations where New Yorkers can thrive, instead of just trying to survive,” says White.
T.A.’s action on Arterial Streets can be found at transalt.org/fixarterialstreets.