Winter 2001, p.10

Neighborhood Streets Network Details Opportunities to Tame Streets

Putting to work the NYC traffic calming law would produce calm, safe streets like this one in England.It's a new year, and the battles to make nyc streets calmer and safer go on. While some of these battles will take years, others are almost won. In January, the 100-member Neighborhood Streets Network sent a letter to NYC Department of Transportation's new commissioner Iris Weinshall presenting her with some of the immediate opportunities that the DOT has to change the equation on the streets. In the letter, the Network asked Commissioner Weinshall to:

Put the NYC Traffic Calming Law to extensive use.
In September 1999, Governor Pataki signed the NYC Traffic Calming Bill into law. This law allows speed to be set as low as 15 mph on NYC streets, when used in conjunction with traffic calming. However, to T.A.'s knowledge, the law has not been used, despite citywide acclaim and the strong backing of Mayor Giuliani. The Network would like to see this law piloted on 100 streets-20 in each borough-and eventually used throughout the city. Simply put, this law will save lives and make streets safer and more pleasant places to live on. Its extensive use is now long overdue.
Construct full Safe Routes to School at Bronx elementary schools.

Being hit by a car is the number one cause of death for kids aged 5-14 in New York City. The Bronx is leading the five boroughs with the highest percentage of children hit. Transportation Alternatives, in conjunction with the Bronx Borough President's office, has developed plans for Safe Routes to School for almost 40 Bronx elementary schools. To date, only one of the plans has actually been fully constructed.

Redesign the Grand Concourse using the $9 million in available funds.
The Grand Concourse is one of the most dangerous streets for pedestrians in the city. The DOT has a pot of over $9 million in federal capital funds earmarked for the Concourse. The DOT has not been able to develop a satisfactory plan for use of the funds, and the money continues to languish.

Fully fund the construction of the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming project.
The Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming project is the nation's largest traffic calming project. However, there is no guaranteed funding for the project's final construction. The NYC DOT should fund the final recommendations in the downtown Brooklyn project using available city capital dollars and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ), enhancement, and STP safety funds.

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