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Incoming NYPD Commissioner Promises Emphasis on Traffic Fatalities

Bill Bratton promises "safe streets, safe subways"

Thursday, December 05, 2013 - 12:14 PM

WNYC
Mayor-Elect Bill De Blasio (R) Announces William Bratton As City's Next Police Chief (Spencer Platt/Getty)

"It is ironic that even as the death totals have declined dramatically with violent crime in this city, this year the number of people killed on our streets - pedestrian and traffic -- will almost equal the homicide total," said New York City's once and future police commissioner on Thursday.

William Bratton made that statement following his appointment as NYPD commissioner by Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio.

According to NYPD statistics, so far this year, 226 people have been been killed in traffic crashes as of the end of October.

Bratton's appointment was immediately hailed by street safety advocates.

“To achieve his Vision Zero goal, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is smart to appoint Bill Bratton to lead the NYPD," said Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives. "Traffic deaths and serious injuries are epidemic in New York City, and the police department has a significant role to play in eliminating them."

Bratton, who first headed the city's transit police before becoming police commissioner under Rudolph Giuliani, also promised Thursday to focus on subway crime. "Safe streets, safe subways -- a lot of emphasis on subways. As you know, I like them," he said. "I like riding them, and five-and-a-half million New Yorkers every day like them. And they like to have a safe and clean and secure ride and we will commit to that."

(MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg said: "We’re happy to hear it, and we look forward to working with him to achieve our common goal of a safe and secure transit network.”)

Last month, while speaking at an NYU Rudin Center/Transportation Alternatives panel, Bratton said traffic deaths are "more easily addressed than crime."

"It’s a matter of just directing resources onto this issue," he said at the time.

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Comments [4]

Chang from NYC

@Tal B
I'm on your side 100%. But what you should realize is what I'm enlightened just recently. It's like I can't sympathize helicopter pilot or space ship crew. In NYC especially Manhattan, average people don't have driving experience unlike average Americans and they are just intimidated by cars. When I cross street I notice recently, I don't look ped signal but watch traffic lights so I know the cars moving pattern. But average New Yorkers just watch ped signal without empathy to drivers waiting to turn and stride with the muscular attitude of ped right. They are conditioned that way more last ten years or so

It is very frustrating but I'm used to now. Anyway difficult to make them understand drivers are also victim with high stress in disorderly anything goes streets of NYC. It is always the cars responsible for accidents. Where it happens? On the road, with the light against light, cars with 30mph should be enough to handle to cross safely but city even proposed 20mph in one way street just to be denied in Albany. Upstate residents also drivers of everyday will sympathizes NYC motorists, I'm sure. For some, private cars are necesseary in addition to mass transit and cycling (season and weather permitted mode). Cars pay too much for city revenue and hybrid, electric, small car options make environmental issue so passé.

Is there an app for help? Well, some game apps titled "how to cross street smart and sexy in NYC " might help.

Dec. 10 2013 02:12 AM
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

Al, I do follow a lot of rules when I drive, which is probably far more than what you anti-car fanatics do. BTW, I do take a lot of responsibility as well, but I doubt your kind ever does that. For the record, I never said that we motorists own the roads, you just put words in my mouth as always. If you don't want to be hit, then simply stop jaywalking and wait for the walk signal. BTW, I do agree that enforcement should be done, but on all groups, not just a select one as you want it to be. Just to let you know, more tickets have been handed out to motorists that flout the laws far more than any cyclists or pedestrians. They will brake the laws much more because they know that they can either get away with it or the punishment will be nothing more than a slap on the wrist for them. I do believe that bicycles should be licensed, registered, and insured, but the real reason this is opposed isn't because of costs, but because they will actually get got or even tracked if someone got their number just like a car especially if they flee the scene like they always do. Jaywalking may not hurt anyone, but just like cyclists constantly flouting the laws, they are placing themselves into harm's way. However, websites just like Streetsblog will always see this kind as martyrs and probably use them just to promote something for themselves. Overall, al, until your kind practices what you preach, you have no moral legitimacy to all others what do to. Safety needs to come from all groups, not just one.

Dec. 07 2013 11:20 AM
al cinamon from Yonkers, NY

Tal, when you became a pedestrian did you have to study a rule book and get a license? Why are you so demanding of pedestrians? You, the driver,were required to receive training to pass a test that proved you could drive safely and not kill people. Why can't you accept that responsibility. You're nice and comfy surrounded by all that metal. What protection does a pedestrian have? Flash! You don't own the roads. You have to share it with other users. Maybe you need to relearn that lesson!

Dec. 06 2013 06:56 PM
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

I know that I will be grilled by others for saying this, and some will probably be wishing for my death for even saying this, but here it is. If it's really about safety, then all groups should have to comply with the rules, not just one group, which happens to be motorists only. Some of the accidents tend to occur to pedestrians and cyclists when they get hit is because they themselves were flouting the laws. I tend to find that as placing themselves into harm's way. Of course to people like Paul Steely White or even Mark Gorton, that probably makes them a martyr. Another thing is that I feel that only requiring motorists to follow every letter of the law while that's not being done much on pedestrians and cyclists, who probably flout the laws way more times, is like George Orwell's Animal Farm where only a certain group of animals didn't have to be subject to the laws while all others were forced to. In reality, all groups need to follow the laws, and there wouldn't be that many accidents. Until some of those on the anti-car crowd start playing their role when it comes to safety, they have no moral legitimacy to others what to do, otherwise they will be like parents telling their children not to smoke but still do smoking themselves hence the double standard.

Dec. 06 2013 02:42 PM

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