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Vision Zero town hall at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Tuesday

The scene of a car accident that took the lives of an expectant couple in Williamsburg in March 2013. Photo: Shimon Gifter, VosIzNeias, AP

Plan would reduce fatal accidents in NYC

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Seven Brooklynites from ages 11 to 82 died in bloody traffic accidents during March. Families and friends join the huge network of mourners citywide emanating from more than 250 preventable deaths in traffic accidents last year.

Tuesday night at Borough Hall, when city officials present a plan for ‘Vision Zero’, it is not likely that the names of some 4,000 residents who are injured annually will be read, nor the 250 who died. But in tribute to the departed, Brooklyn Daily Eagle simple lists here the seven Brooklyn people who died just in March: 

Dylan Perry, 11, Pei Yao Wu, 82, Marlene Baharlias, 77, Roshard Charles, 5, Jorge Rios, 47, Phillip Crucilla, 47, and Marisol Martinez, 21.

Tuesday’s Vision Zero forum will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. This is the Mayor's plan to reduce fatal traffic fatalities to zero by the year 2024. Joining the Mayor's Transportation Commissioner will be Borough President Eric Adams and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

During a forum last week at Medgar Evers College, Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said that Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue would be one of the program’s first priorities. Atlantic Avenue is one of the borough’s most dangerous streets for pedestrians. From 2002 to 2013, more than 1,400 pedestrians and cyclists were injured there.

Earlier this month, council members Stephen Levin (D-Greenpoint-Williamsburg) and Antonio Reynoso (Bushwick-Williamsburg) called on Mayor de Blasio to make North Brooklyn a top priority for the implementation of Vision Zero.

Levin and Reynoso noted that a recent analysis by the group I Quant NY found that Williamsburg led the city in traffic-related deaths in 2013.

In late January, Councilman Brad Lander said that parts of Vision Zero were already going into effect in Park Slope. During a two-day period, Jan. 23-24, the 78th Precinct handed out 16 summonses to drivers for failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.

Forty-four percent of pedestrians injured in auto crashes are walking within the crosswalk, with a walk signal, Lander said.

Vision Zero techniques include stronger law enforcement, lower speed limits, engineering changes, improved emergency response and “behavior campaigns.”

More cops will be out on the street to enforce laws against speeding, failure to yield violations, improper turns, and phoning or texting while driving. Police would also investigate all crashes involving critical injuries.

Other plans include reengineering certain intersections, designating slow zones, installing new red light cameras and speedcams, speed bumps, and improved lighting.

Over the weekend, however, funding for Vision Zero's 160 new red light and speedcams was left out of the budget deal negotiated in Albany.

According to Gotham Gazette, State. Sen. Martin Dilan, a ranking Democrat on the Senate's transportation committee, said he expects a push for components of Vision Zero “after the budget is wrapped up.”

The activist group Right of Way on Monday, however, condemned the omission of the speed cameras from the budget and demanded immediate legislative action.

“While our politicians dicker, New Yorkers are needlessly dying on our streets,” said Amy Cohen in a statement. Cohen is a founding member of Families for Safe Streets whose son Sammy was killed by a speeding driver on Prospect Park West. “The safety of our children, and of all New Yorkers, cannot be subject to political horse trading.”

New York City’s speed camera program started up in January, with fewer than 20 cameras. In the two months since, the cameras have issued 11,715 tickets despite operating only in school zones, during school hours, to vehicles driven at least 10 mph over the posted limit, according to Right of Way.

 

March 31, 2014 - 3:24am


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