“Kids need safe streets” – Video from Brooklyn Rally

Powerful video here on a well-attended march to protest traffic violence from Brooklyn, where 2 young children were killed last week while walking in a crosswalk with their mothers by a reckless driver with a long history of moving violations, including speeding in school zones, though this crash occurred at a regular crosswalk. Considering what has happened in our city and region recently, we need to consider, seriously and candidly, whether we are doing enough to stop traffic violence and protect everyone on our streets – every senior, every child, every person with mobility issues, and, really, every single one of us – who isn’t in a motor vehicle. I’m afraid that the answer is no. We must do more and we most do it more quickly. I’m with the commenter who says they don’t want safety changes to wait until the next tragedy. We need them everywhere now. Now. NOW.

Two personal notes: (1) Park Slope, where the most recent tragedy occurred, happens to be the neighborhood I grew up in; and (2) folks who have worked with LivableStreets Alliance over the last couple of years will recognize Nidhi Gulati, who recently relocated to NY, at about the 4:00 mark in the video.

We can learn a couple of things from New York

Going in reverse order from when these things came over the transom:

POINT THE FIRST

“25 keeps us all alive!” — To be clear, I do not believe this is really the slogan, but I was in New York over the past weekend and snapped this picture:

IMAG0008

You’re reading the sign right. New York has had a city-wide 25 mph speed limit for more than a year now. The world has not ended and their economy has not crashed, but traffic fatalities of all kinds of down year over year: 241 this year against 269 last year. The new Boston Vision Zero Action Plan is finally pointing us in this direction. But let’s be honest: it is long, long past time for our city to take the same kind of step — let’s make 2016 the year it happens.

POINT THE SECOND

Why 9 or 10 is better than 12. I commend to everyone the following article from Rob Steuteville over at Better Cities & Towns about how the humble Williamsburg Bridge’s rehabilitation back during your correspondent’s youthful years in the big city led to some of the first research into why narrower vehicle travel lanes are safer than wider ones. Worth a read: The New Science of Traffic Engineering. Challenging a misguided orthodoxy only sticks when you gather the data to show why that orthodoxy is wrong.