63 Ways de Blasio Wants to Eliminate Traffic Deaths

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 02:13 PM

Mayor de Blasio yesterday announced the details of Vision Zero, his inter-agency plan to eliminate traffic fatalities in New York City. The 63 recommendations in the plan fall into three main categories: enforcement, education and engineering. Responsibility is spread across several agencies and departments, including NYPD, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Taxi and Limousine Commission, and the Department of Transportation.  

Some standouts include: (6) the lowering of the speed limit to 25 miles an hour and (7) stepping up NYPD enforcement of failure to yield and speeding. There are several proposals around increased data collection and transparency: (4), (13) and (18). And there are some more left-field ideas, like (46), which would reduce the fare to customers if a taxi driver speeds. 

The City Council takes up Vision Zero on Monday at 10 am, with a hearing convened jointly by the Transportation and Public Safety Committees. And Tuesday evening, State Senator Brad Hoylman convenes a "Counting Down to 'Vision Zero'" town hall forum at John Jay College, featuring representatives from the mayor's office, the Department of Transportation, NYPD and Transportation Alternatives, among others.  

Below is the full list of "proposed city actions," broken down by category. Which of these do you think should be prioritized, and is anything missing from the list? Comment below.


City Hall

1. Establish a permanent Vision Zero task force in the Mayor’s Office of Operations

2. Launch a Vision Zero website to gather input from New Yorkers and coordinate information about the City’s Vision Zero plans, upcoming events and provide data

3. Conduct Vision Zero presentations across the City

4. Publish crash and safety data on a regular basis in user-friendly format(s)

5. Partner with industry groups and vehicle manufacturers to educate fleet drivers and explore design changes to their automotive fleets

6. Lead a state legislative campaign to give the City the power over the placement of speed and red-light cameras, the power to reduce the citywide speed limit to 25mph, and to increase the penalties associated with dangerous driver behavior


Police Department

7. Increase enforcement against dangerous moving violations, including speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians, signal violations, improper turns/disobeying signage, and phoning/texting while driving

8. Increase speeding enforcement at the precinct level

9. Purchase advanced speed detection equipment (LIDAR guns), upgrade speed detection technology available to precincts and train additional personnel

10. Increase the Highway Unit to 263 personnel

11. Expand Collision Investigation Squad cases to encompass all crashes with critical injuries.

12. Modify precinct-level traffic plans to increase focus on pedestrian safety

13. Update technology for capturing crash data

14. Enhance training for officers to better record and preserve crash details and site evidence

15. Broaden recruiting efforts for School Crossing Guards


Police Department + Department of Transportation

16. Conduct intensive street-level outreach and enforcement on safety problems and traffic laws, focused in areas with known crash histories

17. Convene monthly meetings of the DOT Traffic Division and the NYPD Transportation Bureau to review traffic safety performance and set strategy for improvement

18. Develop data-driven citywide enforcement strategy

19. Develop borough-wide safety plans in close coordination with community boards, community organizations, and the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit

20. Conduct targeted outreach in 500 schools each year, educating students about protecting themselves as safe pedestrians and working with their families for safer school zones


Department of Transportation

21. Implement safety engineering improvements at 50 intersections and corridors

22. Create 25 new arterial slow zones

23. Implement 8 new neighborhood slow zones

24. Install speed cameras at 20 new authorized locations

25. Install 250 speed bumps, including in neighborhood slow zones

26. Enhance street lighting at 1,000 intersections

27. Enhance maintenance of street markings

28. Install traffic signals where needed for speed control via coordinated arterial signal time

29. Additional street reconstruction safety projects

30. Survey national and international best practices to expand potential strategies

31. Hold workshops for major street design projects

32. Undertake a high-quality ad campaign aimed at reducing speeding, failure-to-yield and other forms of reckless driving

33. Increase extent of “Choices” anti-DWI campaign

34. Double number of programmable speed boards for intensive education/enforcement initiative

35. Make effective, age-appropriate safety curriculum available to schools throughout the city

36. Partner with senior centers to increase communication and get specific feedback from aging New Yorkers about street safety improvements

37. Increase the number and visibility of hands-on safety demonstrations

38. Add safety flyers and messaging in DOT mailings such as Alternate Side Parking regulations and construction permits


Department of Transportation + Taxi & Limousine Commission

39. Issue summonses to TLC drivers identified by red light cameras (in addition to summonses currently issued to vehicle owners)

40. Update taxi school to account for new streetscape features and alert drivers to higher-crash street types

Taxi & Limousine Commission

41. Create TLC safety enforcement squad, equipped with speed radar equipment, to enforce speed and safety regulations

42. Pilot program to place black box data recorders in TLC-licensed vehicles

43. Implement more comprehensive, taxi-specific, driving curriculum for initial licensees

44. Pursue requirement of additional behind-the-wheel driving instruction for drivers involved in frequent crashes, and continued driver safety education

45. Pilot technology that alerts passengers and drivers that they are traveling over the speed limit

46. Explore in-car technology that limits vehicle speed, warns drivers of impending collisions, or that reduces the fare when the driver speeds

47. Introduce street safety PSAs on Taxi TV

48. Use driver information monitors to send safety reminders to taxi drivers

49. Add safety flyers and messaging in TLC mailings to drivers

50. Include left turn reminder stickers in TLC licensed vehicles

51. Create publicly accessible “Honor Roll” of safe TLC drivers

52. Enhance enforcement against drivers offering for-hire service without TLC license

53. Explore vehicle design requirements to improve safety

54. Pursue City law changes and new TLC rules to increase sanctions on TLC drivers who engage in dangerous behavior

Department of Citywide Administrative Services

55. Ensure all City fleet vehicles are equipped with technology that record speeding and other dangerous driving behaviors, by the end of 2014

56. Upgrade the collision tracking system for the citywide fleet through the new NYC Fleet Focus fleet system

57. Oversee a citywide expansion of Defensive Driver training courses for all employees driving City vehicles

58. Recommend safety related devices and designs, such as high visibility vehicles, back-up cameras, and rear wheel side guards, for City vehicles and other vehicles under City regulation


Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

59. Conduct public health surveillance on traffic-related hospitalizations and fatalities

60. Provide Vision Zero task force with public health data to help target traffic safety interventions

61. Include traffic fatalities and injuries and prevention messages in public health reports

62. Engage community public health partners in promoting Vision Zero goals

63. Promote research on walking, driving, motorcycling, and bicycling behaviors and patterns in the city


Comments [9]

Andy from Bayside, NY

This reads like the Communist Manifesto. At best it's a money grab, at worst it's trying to make us all sheeple being lead into soylent green vats.

Mar. 18 2014 12:38 PM
Bronx from NYC


The vast majority of pedestrian/cyclist/skater deaths and injuries are due to driver incompetence.

At the same time, the rules need to be adjusted. As they currently stand, due to incorrectly allocated street space, pedestrians/cyclist/skaters are unfairly penalized by regulations that favor drivers. We could use completely redesigned intersections, roads, and aggressive traffic calming as suggested (physical, camera and police enforced).

Drivers are a minority in this city. This is not Pleasantville, NY. It's time to take back our streets. The automobile era is over. And this goes well beyond the 5 boroughs.

Feb. 22 2014 05:02 AM
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

Once again, I can see some who are just looking at the effects rather than the causes. Nobody will argue that you can get hit by a car, but I am asking why did that happen in the first place. Many of the accidents have been found that in the cause, the pedestrian was jaywalking or not even paying attention to the road, and the same goes with cyclists when they are disobeying numerous traffic laws. If one bothers to actually know the causes, then they would know what really happened. It's like saying that you blame the bees for stinging you when you probably did something to their beehive or nest before all of that. In reality, all groups need to play their part in safety, not just one only. Then and only then will there ever be safe streets. Once again, you have no moral legitimacy to tell others to follow rules when you aren't following them yourselves, so start practicing what you preach.

Feb. 20 2014 04:57 PM
stewart from brooklyn

I was in a cab recently and it had clear stickers on the rear passanger windows that stated, "Look First For Bicyclists!" As a bicyclist, I told the cab driver how happy I was to see this. Why this is not mandatory in all cabs I have no idea, and why this isn't one of the mayor's 63 points, is anyone's guess. This simple thing is actually quite huge, as when a taxi double parks and the passenger is in a rush they fling the door open with no regard to bicylists and become a serious danger to bicyclists all over the city, 24/7.

And, to Tal Barzilai, the person with the large, heavy, super-fast machine should take more responsibility than those who do not: how many pedestrians die from bicycles and other pedestrians? It is extremely rare. Cars, on the other hand, are disproportionatly maiming people.

Feb. 20 2014 03:08 PM
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

As usual, the anti-car crowd gangs up on me as does their usual only cars are evil while turning a blind eye to those of their own kind who do the same. For the record, I have called out reckless drivers, and I don't condone their actions, but I have hardly ever seen any of you call out cyclists and pedestrians that do the same and instead give them nothing more than a slap on the wrist. I believe that ALL groups should be held accountable for their actions. Just to let you know, when someone is not solely responsible for their actions, it's not the same as not being responsible at all, and that's what I'm talking about here. When a pedestrian or cyclist flouts the law, they are placing themselves into an accident or as I like to call it "harm's way" on that. Although the motorist is responsible for hitting them, they are not completely responsible for the entire accident especially when the other was placing themselves into harm's way. Keep in mind that this is what is known as understanding the causes, which so many tend to omit when not in your favor. At the same time, I believe that bicycles shouldn't just be subject to follow the same laws, but also be required to have licensing, registration, and insurance like all vehicles. Why should they get to ride on the roads for free when all other vehicles have to pay for it? The answer has more to do with them actually getting caught and held for their actions rather than costs as so many bike zealots try to make it. One other thing, in so many other cities, jaywalking is actually illegal, so cracking down it here in NYC won't be any different. As for congestion pricing, it was hated mainly for being a regressive tax as many politicians and people living outside of Manhattan will highly despise it especially since their income levels are much lower. On a side note, I have most likely followed a lot more rules when driving and walking than just about everyone hear attacking me has combined, so I do practice what I preach unlike so many of you.

Feb. 20 2014 03:04 PM
TOM from Brooklyn

I'm encouraged the Mayor has put forward lots of innovations to attack the problem, There is no one "Silver Bullet". I could add more but not here. Let's digest what's on the table.

There are actually only two real categories to these suggested steps, none of which are new ideas:
1. Those the Mayor can implement on his current authority. That is, just as soon as he explains why they weren't done already. His predecessor, Bloomberg, was not a dummy, lacked empathy or people pushing him.
2. Those requiring the approval of any political powers who don't have to return his phone call. Never mind that guy from Rochester who's condemned as the enemy of the people, it's the legislators from the commuter-counties who will never approve anything like a 25mph limit that can only entrap their constituent drivers in "Speed Trap City". The State set the limit at 30mph fifty years ago for a reason, and they have not been rallying to reverse themselves up to now. Remember Congestion Parking, the tolling scheme that dare not speak its name? ?Bloomberg just dropped it after the first "NO INTEREST" from the NYC Democrats in the Assembly. These all are non-starters unless he can come to the table to trade. Hopefully they will watch as the Mayor does what he can do and see the results before feeling the need to spend political capital at the behest of those Progressive "City Slickers".

Feb. 20 2014 01:00 PM

To Tal Barzilai: The reason why drivers must bear most, if not all, of the responsibility is because they supposedly were trained to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner, were required to learn the laws and had to pass a safety test to get a license. Accepting the license means you accept the responsibility not to endanger yourself or anyone else. Pedestrians need to do nothing to be a pedestrian. They are not required to learn laws, pass a test or get a license. So why hold them to a higher standard? If you kill a child do you really believe it's his fault?

Feb. 20 2014 09:36 AM
Al Cinamon from Yonkers

What's missing is a real serious to traffic safety. The only way that can be accomplished is to hold irresponsible drivers accountable. It should not be legal to kill with a car! It should be a crime, not an "accident." Killer drivers should face jail time and license revocation. If it's grounds for failure to hit a pedestrian during a Road Test, why is it okay after you have a license?

Feb. 20 2014 09:28 AM
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

Although I agree that motorists need to follow the rules and have it enforced on them, the same should apply for pedestrians and cyclists. As long as they are flouting the laws and hardly anything is done to have them stop, there never will be any safe streets. Why must one group be subject to so many laws when others don't have to? More importantly, if these groups really believe in following the laws to maintain safety, then why don't they practice what they preach and follow the laws they must comprehend to? If they don't, then they have no moral legitimacy to tell others what to do, and they sound like a parent who tells their children that smoking is bad for their health when they are smoking themselves. Overall, safe streets needs to come from all groups, not just one only.

Feb. 19 2014 07:49 PM

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