New York, New York: This Sunday morning, dozens of state and local elected officials and hundreds of New Yorkers will ride bicycles from all five boroughs and converge at City Hall Park at noon, when they will all link arms in tandem to form a large “0” around City Hall, signifying the urgency of expanding Vision Zero strategies to protect all road users and prevent future traffic violence in New York City.
This ride and rally, held on World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and organized by Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives, is occurring in tandem with events around the world and in dozens of cities across the U.S., including Austin, Los Angeles, and Boston.
Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo have been invited to join Manhattan riders as they bicycle to City Hall from the site of the recent attack on an unprotected section of the Hudson River Greenway that killed eight and injured a dozen more. To detail key steps the Mayor must take to protect New York City’s growing bicycling population, the rally will also preview Monday’s release of BikeNYC 2020: What New York Needs to be a World-Class Cycling City. This policy blueprint outlines how the Mayor can achieve his goal to double daily bicycling by 2020, an objective that goes hand-in-hand with Vision Zero progress.
Since Mayor de Blasio announced his Vision Zero policy in 2014, traffic fatalities in New York City have declined, from an average of 290 annually to about 240 today. Yet despite important investments made by Mayor de Blasio to curb reckless driving during his first term, New York is not on track to meet his goal to eliminate traffic deaths by 2024.
At least 198 New Yorkers have been killed so far this year in preventable traffic crashes, as compared to 203 at this point in 2016. On Sunday at City Hall, the crowd of more than 300 will read their names, then call on New York’s elected leaders to act with greater urgency to save lives in the year ahead. Specifically, Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives will call on the Mayor and the Governor to work together to renew and expand the speed safety camera program at NYC schools, a program which has led to a more than 60% drop in speeding and that is set to expire in 2018.
Members of the New York City Council and other citywide elected officials will join with rally attendees and call on Mayor de Blasio to redouble his investment in the life-saving redesign of New York’s most dangerous streets, all of which have been classified as Vision Zero Priority Corridors by the New York City Department of Transportation. As of now, there is no timeline or budget to address all of these dangerous streets. Riding to City Hall from all five boroughs, and in the wake of the preventable attack on the greenway, cycling activists at the rally will point to the need for a network of protected bike lanes as being core to the success of the Mayor’s Vision Zero policy.
WHAT: World Day of Remembrance for Victims of Traffic Violence - Bike Ride and Rally
WHEN & WHERE: Sunday, November 19th
11:00am: Bike Ride to City Hall from Hudson River Greenway at Houston Street
12:00pm: Rally at City Hall Park
1:00pm: Human “0” around City Hall -- photo opportunity
[Details of borough feeder rides can be found here]
WHO: Families for Safe Streets, Transportation Alternatives, elected officials, more than 300 New Yorkers
Families of victims will be available to speak to the media before and after the ride and rally. Additionally, Transportation Alternatives released the following statement today from Executive Director, Paul Steely White in anticipation of the bike ride and rally:
“On World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims - November 19th - New Yorkers will gather at City Hall with a clear and forceful message: enough. Cyclists, pedestrians, commuters, survivors, activists, elected officials, and concerned citizens of the City alike will come together to remember all those needlessly killed or injured by traffic violence in 2017, to show that it’s safe, it’s healthy, it’s fun to bike in New York, and to demand the bold leadership and meaningful policy change vital to the goals of Vision Zero. It’s critical, now more than ever, that all New Yorkers feel safe and empowered to walk, bike, and commute wherever and whenever in their city - and on Sunday, we’ll show that New Yorkers are overwhelmingly ready to support the leaders who fight for that.”