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Safe Streets for All

Safe Streets for All

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Published by Scott M. Stringer

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Published by: Scott M. Stringer on Dec 09, 2011
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12/23/2011

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BREAKOUT SESSION #5: Safe Streets for All: Accessibility,Design, and Enforcement
 
Kate Slevin of Tri-State Transportation Campaign kicked off the session bynoting the improvements made for pedestrians in the last four years,including longer walk times at crosswalks, raised crossings, and publicplazas. In addition, the passage of the Complete Streets Act now mandatesthat DOT projects take into consideration the needs of pedestrians, cyclists,drivers, and the disabled.
 
Juan Martinez of Transportation Alternatives said that more people arekilled on streets than from gun violence, despite the media silence on theissue. The DOT seeks to reduce fatalities by 50% by 2030, but in a Citywhere 70% of fatalities are caused by drivers’ illegal activity, DOT cannot doit alone. Indeed, Harbachan Singh of Queens Civic Congress urged bettereducation for pedestrians, bikers, and drivers alike.
 
Ryan Russo of NYC DOT shared statistics with the group, including the factthat over 700 pedestrians per year were killed on City streets in the 1930sand the number is down to around 150 per year over the last decade. Theongoing fatalities occur mainly on large, two-way boulevards, whichaccount for just 12% of the City’s streets, but see 47% of the fatalities.Moreover, seniors are disproportionately represented among the victims—38% of fatalities despite being only 12% of the City’s population.
 
DOT has expanded its Safe Routes to Schools campaign and expanded thenumber of red light cameras on City streets (thanks to legislation passed inAlbany). However, the Department continues to encounter obstacles,including budget shortfalls and community opposition to changing thestreetscape. Nevertheless, Russo urged community members to work withCommunity Boards to install speed bumps on dangerous roads andMartinez called on people to support expanded speed cameras.
 
Ken Stewart of the Metropolitan Council for Low Vision Individualsdescribed his walk to the conference and how the obstacles he faced could

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