Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Traffic, Vision Zero and Speed Cameras 8888

5% Increase in Traffic Deaths This Year de Blasio's Vision Zero Plan Flops No Effect 
De Blasio’sVision Zero plan backfires as traffic death stats are up (NYP) Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to cut pedestrian deaths has veered dramatically off course, advocates and families of crash victims charged Thursday at City Hall.  Safe streets supporters rallied after an unlicensed van driver last week fatally struck an 8-month-old baby in his stroller in Queens. And contrary to the goal to cut traffic deaths eventually to zero, deaths so far this year are up 5%, to 195.* Critics blast de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan for failing to protect NYC pedestrians as traffic deaths spike (NYDN)  Hermanda Booker’s bright life was cut short when she was struck by an SUV and then run over by a school bus during a rainstorm at a Midwood intersection just a few blocks from her home.  She was one of 11 people killed in a spate of road fatalities in the first two weeks of the year that have cast a harsh light on Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero traffic safety plan.  The traffic deaths recorded in 2017 represent a 57% spike compared to the same period last year when vehicular crashes claimed seven lives.  Many of these victims — including Booker, 73-year-old Darton Besler of Brooklyn, 52-year-old Thomas Bradley of Queens, and 43-year-old Marlon Palacios — were killed while simply crossing the street. Four died in hit-and-run crashes when cowardly motorists either sped off or — on two occasions — sprinted away on foot. Last week, Mayor de Blasio defended his Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths by 2024. “We have now seen traffic fatalities in our city decline for three straight years, strongly countering national trends,” he said Wednesday.  The city recorded its fewest ever traffic-related deaths last year. But it wasn’t all good news — while fewer motorists died in 2016, there was an uptick in the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists killed on the roads.  “It’s gotten safer to be on the inside of a car than outside of one,” said Doug Gordon, a member of StreetsPAC, a political action committee dedicated to maintaining safe streets.  Gordon said the city needs more infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists, including better protected bike lanes.  The upswing in vehicular deaths this year has spurred police to step up traffic enforcement, particularly in Brooklyn, where seven of the 11 fatal accidents occurred.

de Blasio: Forget Vision Zero . . .  Drunk Driving Marginalized MADD Mad

De Blasio found a way to marginalize drunk driving (NYP) First, of course, came Mayor de Blasio’s reply to CNN’s Jake Tapper about adding to the list of 170 offenses that trigger city cooperation with the feds on illegal aliens. “Is grand larceny or drunk driving a very minor offense?” Tapper asked.  “Drunk driving that doesn’t lead to any other negative outcome, I could define as that,” de Blasio came back.  Oops: “There is nothing minor when drunk driving kills or injures 300,000 people every year,” said Richard Mallow, the state director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “Drunk driving is always a major offense.”  Then, later in the week, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Brooklyn) read the mayor a list of other possible additions: “Sexual misconduct, forcible touching, sexual abuse in the second or third degree, grand larceny, welfare fraud, identity theft.” De Blasio declined to promise anything. They’re not even bending on drunk driving yet: City Hall would only tell WCBS’s Marcia Kramer that it will get “thoughtful attention and conversation.”  Beware, Mr. Mayor: You don’t want to make MADD any madder — or Team Trump.

Vision Zero Has Been Success At Raising Money From Tickets Not Lowing Pedestrian Deaths
Faced with escalating deaths of pedestrians and cyclists, de Blasio insisted his administration wasn’t losing sight of the Vision Zero program, saying the city is ramping up efforts to stem traffic fatalities, the Daily News writes.  Officials presented data showing that there were 14 deaths related to vehicle collisions from Oct. 27 to Nov. 27, down from 30 in the same period last year. They also acknowledged, only after questioning by reporters, that traffic deaths over all had barely changed — 204 this year, compared with 209 in the same period in 2015. Pedestrian deaths, whose prevention is a prime focus of the initiative, have increased.* NYPD TrafficStatdatabase is now available online (AMNY) The site,, which is updated every Tuesday, includes statistics on the number of citywide collisions, injuries related to motorists, pedestrians, passengers and bike riders and fatalities. The data can be viewed citywide, or broken down into police precincts and has a map that pinpoints the exact location of collisions. The NYPD released some new statistics on traffic accidents in the city. Weeknight evening hours between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. over the next three weeks are the most dangerous time of the year and the increased darkness since late October has led to a 40% jump in pedestrian traffic injuries and fatalities, according to the department. Overall, there have been 204 traffic fatalities in the city as of Nov. 28, which is five fewer than during the same period in 2015.  The number of pedestrians killed in the traffic accidents in 2016 as of Nov. 28 was 126, six more than during the same period last year.

Vision Zero Speed Bumps
Since de Blasio took office, traffic deaths have dropped, bus service has expanded outside of Manhattan and there are more bicycle lanes. Yet drivers complain about more speeding tickets, residents grumble about increasingly crowded subway trains and many advocates are beginning to question the administration’s commitment to delivering on its Vision Zero initiative to reduce traffic deaths. * Driver crackdown crashes into reality  (NYDN Ed)

Cyclists Dying Despite de Blasio's Vision Zero

Despite de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, so far this year motorists have killed 17 cyclists, putting 2016 on the path to being one of the deadliest for bike riders in recent years, the Daily News reports.

Vision Zero Arrests are Incoherent Mess 
 A law that de Blasio and the New York City Council championed that allowed for the arrest of drivers who strike pedestrians in crosswalks, causing injury or death, was an incoherent mess, the Daily Newswrites: 

Traffic Criminalizing Dead End 
TALK ABOUT A BLIND SPOT: Criminalizing drivers a dead-end road to street safety(NYDN Ed) Nicole Gelinas writes in the Post that the de Blasioadministration’s proposed cap on black cars will not ease traffic caused by commuters opting out of a public transit system neglected by the mayor and the governor: 

Trust de Blasio Closing the Parks to Traffic Will Have No Historic Effect on Traffic
Monday Update Veteran Assemblyman Keith Wright wants NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to put the brakes on a plan to close most of Central Park to weekday car traffic, fearing it will creating traffic problems for his constituents in Harlem.

De Blasio plans to permanently close large portions of Central, Prospect Parks to weekday car traffic: sources (NYDN) * Sources: De Blasio to cut cars in Central and Prospect parks (Capital) * Sources: Mayor to Expand Car Ban in Central, Prospect Parks (NY1)* NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he will close large parts of New York City’s two most celebrated parks to car traffic on weekdays. The closings in Central Park and Prospect Park, which pedestrian advocates have been seeking for decades, will banish cars from sections of the verdant thoroughfares that wind along the edges of both parks. * The car ban does not apply to the antique electric vehicles the mayor favors to replace horse-drawn carriages in these two parks. * Prospect Park's East Side Neighbors Fume Over Exclusion From Car Ban (DNAINFO)  NYC Parks Update  Majority of NYC parks forced to operate with part-time crews(NYP) More than three-quarters of all parks in New York City are operating without permanent maintenance workers and other staff, even in the busiest summer months

Vision Zero Mixed Results Lots of Tickets

de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan, aimed at reducing pedestrian deaths to zero, has had mixed results in its first year, with traffic deaths down but only by 4 percent in problem corridors
EXCLUSIVE: Daily News investigation finds mixed results in mayor’s Vision Zero plan as city sees six traffic-related deaths in the last 10 days — SEE THE INTERACTIVE (NYDN) The life-threatening wreck was part of a bloody stretch on the city’s streets beginning May 17 in which there were six traffic-related deaths, including four pedestrians. There have been 43 pedestrians killed this year through Monday, compared with 47 at this time last year — a dip of almost 9%, records show. Nearly a year after City Hall launched Vision Zero in June of last year, the results are mixed, a News analysis of NYPD data from July 2012 through March 2015 found. Citywide, The News found there wasn’t a marked decrease in the number of wrecks during 2014, compared with the prior year and a half. And March of this year was among the months with the most wrecks between July 2012 and March 2015 with 17,410 — including nearly 2,600 that resulted in an injury or death.  De Blasio insists that his initiative, which includes 27 “arterial slow zones,” is working. A street-by-street analysis of those first 12 “slow zones” reveals successes and challenges.

TWU Protests Vision Zero's Arrest of Its Drivers
TWU Local 100 ad slams Bill de Blasio over Vision Zeroplan that has resulted in arrest of six bus drivers (NYDN)  The head of the city’s largest transit union has developed a case of road rage for Mayor de Blasio over a street-safety program that has left several bus drivers in cuffs. An ad paid for by the Transport Workers Union Local 100 that will run in the Daily News on Wednesday features an illustration of the mayor. He’s wearing a sash that reads “Mr. Progressive” and he’s putting handcuffs on a bus driver. The image runs under the words, “Uncuff ’em, Mayor De Blasio!” The ad blasts de Blasio for his Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths for “criminalizing an entire class of hard working, law abiding unionized workers.  Six bus drivers have been arrested under the so-called Right of Way law that makes it a misdemeanor for drivers to fail to yield and strike pedestrians or bicyclists crossing with the light, according to the NYPD. There have been 23 arrests made under the law to date. Samuelsen said drivers deal with blind spots and difficult left turns in a crowded city without dedicated traffic signals, all while trying to stick to a rigorous schedule. The City Council is considering a bill to exempt MTA bus drivers from the Right of Way law.* A new ad takes on the mayor over the arrests of several busdrivers due to Vision Zero: (NY1)

3rd Worst State Highest Speeding Helps Push the Middle Class Out
New York is the 3rd worst state for speeding tickets(NYP) In October 2014, the NYPD handed out 12,540 speeding tickets, a 36 percent increase from the same period last year. This month the city lowered speed limits on local roads to 25 mph.
Traffic, Vision Zero and Speed Cameras

Central Park Cuts Speed Limit After Two Bike Deaths
In the wake of two pedestrian deaths caused by collisions with bicycles, Central Park has lowered the speed limit for cars and bicycles to 20 miles an hour from 25, while reconfiguring intersections with heavy foot traffic, the Times reports


A Cash Cow Speed Trap Camera  

Keeping the Middle Class In NYC?

Speed camera generates $77,550 in just one day(NYP) A speed camera in Brooklyn tallied a bank-busting 1,551 tickets in a single day this summer, according to the Department of Transportation. At $50 a pop, the July 7 ticket blitz generated $77,550 for city coffers.The area’s city councilman, Chaim Deutsch, praised it for making roadways safer. “If anyone is speeding . . . they deserve a summons,” he told the blog Sheepshead Bites. But Councilman Mark Treyger has blasted the camera’s location as a speed trap.

SHOCKING Campaign Promises of Less Tickets Untrue 

NYC has given out a lot of tickets this year(NYP) City enforcement agents set a ticket-blitz record this year by handing out 57,166 tickets in April, the most of any month in three years —  despite Mayor de Blasio’s pledge to cut back on the summons avalanche. In the previous five months of 2013, agents gave out just 197,278 tickets, or 40,363 fewer. “The thing that we’re focused on immediately is ending the arbitrary ticket blitzes that were revenue-based,” the mayor said in February, two months after taking office. He even cut projected fines revenue from $859 million to $789 million.  In March, the City Council with the mayor’s support made changes in regulations that officials estimated would reduce fine revenues by 25 percent. But the number of restaurant summonses given out in May was 2,239, down only slightly from 2,336 in May 2013.  The Sanitation Department, which accounts for more than 60 percent of all ECB summonses, wrote 40,517 tickets in April, also a three-year record.  The FDNY also had a big month this March, the second-highest month on recent record blazing ahead with 5,411 violations.The ECB collected more than $67 million between January and June, compared to about $66 million in the same time period last year, officials said

Parking After the Street Sweepers Council Bill Again . . .  Pandering?  

de Blasio Like Bloomberg Says Proposal Will Lead to Dirtier Streets
Street sweeping 2.0(NYDN Ed)
A bad Council idea could lead to a better plan for alternate-side parking. Ultimately, Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez’s bill reflects both the Council’s overblown belief that every difficulty can be outlawed and an utter lack of creative thinking during an era of high-tech innovation. City buses are equipped with GPS devices. You can use a smartphone to see exactly where they are. Ditto snow plows and a growing number of cabs and livery cars. If street sweepers were similarly equipped, a sweeper driver could post that a block was open for parking as soon as cleaning was finished. Drivers and enforcement agents alike could then keep track electronically.
 New York Council Bill Aims to Ease a Parking Burden(NYP)
Legislation that will have a hearing before the City Council would allow drivers to return to parking spaces once street sweepers pass on alternate-side-parking days.* .@NYCSanitation says changing the alternate-side parkingrules would be unworkable.(WNYC)* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Sanitation Department warned against a proposal to loosen alternate-side parking rules, saying it will lead to dirtier streets, the Daily News reports: PUMP YOUR BRAKES: Mayor de Blasio objects to easing of rules on alternate-side parking during street sweep days(NYDN) “The department objects to the bill, officials said, because it would impede their ability to go back and double-clean streets, a common practice especially during the fall. ‘If we didn’t need to go back around the block, it wouldn’t be an issue. But very frequently we’ve had to go back,’ said Paul Visconti, the department's assistant chief of cleaning operations. It is a ‘misconception,’ Visconti said, that anyone sitting in a parked car is immediately issued a summons when street cleaners approach.”de Blasio's Trash 180 * De Blasio voiced support for reforming alternate side parking rules a day after his Sanitation Department testified that such changes could leave many streets jammed with trash, the Observer reports:

Will Building A Speed Trap Make NY Safer . . .  What About Heavy Jail for Illegal and Bad Drivers?
NYT A22, “Bill to Reduce Speed Limit to 25 M.P.H. Gains Favor,” by Matt Flegenheimer: “A proposal to lower the New York City speed limit to 25 miles per hour cleared a critical hurdle on Tuesday, as a bill in the State Senate won the support of the de Blasio administration and some, though not all, traffic safety advocates. If passed before the legislative session ends this week, the bill … would deliver perhaps the most significant change yet under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths in the city by 2024. ‘We have seen real movement over the past 24 hours,’ Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for the mayor, said in a statement. ‘We are very hopeful that we’ll have action this session.’”* Despite de Blasio, Klein support, some traffic safety advocates aren't keen on a 25m.p.h. speed limit * The New York City Council passed a “home rule” measure asking the state Legislature for the authority to lower the speed limit to 25 m.p.h. across the city, the Associated Press reports:  * Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos cast uncertainty on the bill to lower New York City’s speed limit, saying “We haven't made a determination yet whether we're going to do it,” Capital New York reports:  Skelos Non-Committal On Speed Limit Bill(YNN)* City’s speed-limit bill hits roadblock in Albany (NYP)

Vision Zero Zone Accident      
Man Struck in Brooklyn Vision Zero Zone in Critical Condition

NYC traffic deaths 701 → 249 , '90 to '11. 
De Blasio is looking to Sweden for tips on pedestrian safety. The country has had zero traffic deaths – in accordance with national law.  

A Safety Plan With Swedish Logic and City Smarts(NYT)

New York can learn a lot from Sweden, which has tamped down on traffic fatalities by focusing on design and technological solutions rather than by placing the onus on the driver.

This City is just all too clever...Let's put speed cameras everywhere, then lower the speed limit to a ridiculous...
* Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, serves as a model for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” policy goal, which would reduce traffic fatalities to zero, the Times writes:

Speed Cameras  . . .

More Traffic Cameras For Schools Crossings 
A bill that would allow the use of speed cameras in school zones has passed both chambers of the state Legislature and now sits on Cuomo's desk, the Legislative Gazette reports: * The state Senate approved a bill that would add 120 speed cameras to New York City, up from the current 20.*  State Backs More Cameras to Catch Speeders Near City’s Schools (NYT) * Charter schools in demand among NYC parents(NYP) * State Senate approves more speed enforcement cameras for NYC(NYDN) * State Backs More Cameras to Catch Speeders Near New York City’s Schools(NYT) * The Daily News writes that while Mayor Bill de Blasio praised the state Legislature for approving additional speed cameras for New York City, what lawmakers grudgingly authorized is only an incremental step in the right direction:* Speed freaks(NYDN Ed) Albany’s outrageous short lease on city’s traffic safety

* New York City’s Open Data website now features NYPD motor vehicle collision data in machine-readable format from as recently as the day prior:
Drivers hit with 88% more traffic tickets in Crown Hts. and Prospect Hts. this year, data shows:

Vision Zero Zone Accident      
Man Struck in Brooklyn Vision Zero Zone in Critical Condition

Traffic Control Spin

Charges dropped against Manhattan man, 84, given a jaywalking ticket by cops: lawyer  (NYDN)Kang Chun Wong was stopped by police on the Upper West Side in January for allegedly jaywalking. During the encounter, he was knocked to the ground, struck his head and blacked out.*An Atlantic Avenue slowdown, absent speed cameras(Capital)Today the de Blasio administration put Atlantic Avenue drivers on notice.* Brooklyn’s Atlantic Ave first to see speed limit drop(NYP) * Atlantic Avenue Speed Limit Lowered to 25 Miles an Hour(WSJ) * Atlantic Avenue first city road to go to 25 mph(NYP)

* Legislation that would approve hundreds of speed cameras in school zones, which has the support of Cuomo and other top lawmakers, is expected to be one of the first items lawmakers take on when they return to the Capitol, the Associated Press reports:

City Unveils Dozens Of New Slow Zones To Cut Down On Traffic Fatalities  

Interactive: The impact of motorcycle helmets on deaths
Pedestrian Fatalities Up

Pedestrian fatalities on the rise across city(NYP) Pedestrians deaths are up this year across the five boroughs compared with 2012 — and have spiked by 15.5 percent since 2011.  While the city boasts that overall traffic fatalities are at record lows, a Post analysis found at least 141 people were killed by cars through Monday, compared with 132 over the same period last year.There were 122 killed through Nov. 25, 2011.* NYPD Traffic Agent Dead After Midtown Truck Accident(DNAINFO) The vehicle ran into the officer at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue, the NYPD said. * The Times praises New York for leading the way in cracking down on distracted driving through the use of Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement, or “stealth S.U.V.’s,” which wrote 5,553 tickets in the first two months of the program:

The city's red light cameras aren't generating much green, our Reuven Blau reports. The devices - frequently used to snap the license plates of red-light-running vehicles - busted 14% fewer lead-footed drivers in 2013 as compared to the prior year - largely due to motorists' knowing where the "hidden" cameras are. Tickets issued by the city dropped from 668,709 in 2012 to 575,176 in 2013 - a five-year low, records obtained via the Freedom of Information Law show.

No comments:

Post a Comment