"On Thursday morning, a 7-year-old child was struck and killed by a driver near the intersection of Blake and Pennsylvania avenues in East New York, Brooklyn. The child is at least the 22nd pedestrian killed by a driver on New York City streets to date in 2020, the sixth pedestrian killed this week, and the second child killed in East New York since Tuesday. On behalf of Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets, we send our sincerest condolences to the child’s family.
Yesterday, as Mayor de Blasio signed the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program into law, he said, “We cannot end up with a perverse reality where we put speed over safety… convenience over the lives of innocent people.” He declared that “our society cannot prioritize our cars over our children.”
Yet today, another child died exactly because of that reality, where the city’s 1.4 million car owners dictate the livelihoods and safety of 8.6 million New Yorkers. Moreover, it is no coincidence that two children have been killed in East New York, a low-income, predominantly black neighborhood. While Vision Zero infrastructure has swept the city, communities of color have been largely left out. The decisions about which streets are improved is not simply a matter of traffic safety, but also a matter of racial justice.
No one should fear for their lives while crossing the street, no community should be burdened with such a level of death and destruction on its streets, and no elected official should stand in the way of known solutions that can bring an end to traffic violence. This is a public health crisis, and our leaders must treat it as such.
Mr. Mayor, New Yorkers cannot wait weeks, months, or years for safe streets. We must accelerate our path to Vision Zero today, and we stand ready to support you.”