Statement of Transportation Alternatives Interim Co-Executive Director Marco Conner:
“The situation on our streets is a public health crisis: at least 69 people have been killed while walking, biking or riding in a motor vehicle to date in 2019. Vision Zero must be treated with the urgency it deserves, and it has become clear that the City’s current approach tostreet safety is producing diminishing returns.
We know the New York City Department of Transportation has the means and the know-how to design and build world-class streets, but too often politics get in the way of their plans. The Vision Zero Street Design Standard sets an expectation that every tool at our disposal to make safe streets is used, and it creates a real system of transparency and accountability by requiring an explanation for why safety improvements, such as protected bike lanes, are left out of specific street design projects.
With the passage of this legislation, the City Council has stated loud and clear that the era of scattershot, piecemeal implementation of Vision Zero must come to an end. By requiring a more systematic approach to preventing injury and death on our streets, the Vision Zero Street Design Standard discourages the arbitrary and politically-driven omission of life-saving interventions while giving street design experts the flexibility to implement context sensitive solutions that prioritize safety above all else.
We thank Council Speaker Corey Johnson, prime bill sponsor Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez, and the rest of the bill’s 46 cosponsors for supporting this legislation. We urge Mayor de Blasio to consider the families of those 69 New Yorkers who have been killed in traffic this year as he weighs whether to sign this bill.”