Last year traffic fatalities in New York City reached their second highest level since Vision Zero started in 2014. Last year was also the first year in office for the Adams Administration and the new DOT Commissioner, Ydanis Rodriguez.
Yesterday in an oversight hearing with the City Council, Rodriguez admitted that his department has been unable to reach specific street safety benchmarks required by the Council’s landmark 2019 Streets Plan. Last year the DOT only upgraded 14 bus stops out of the 500 planned and installed 4.4 miles of the 20 miles of protected bus lanes as well as 26.3 miles of the 30 protected bike lanes required.
The bills proposed by the City Council are not going far enough according to street activists
While admitting that his agency was unable to reach the above goals that he blamed on a shortage of workers, Rodriguez also rejected 8 safety bills proposed by the City Council arguing that while he supported the intent of the bills he was not sure how effective they would be in improving street safety. These bills were
While the city council members were disappointed, street safety activists agree that the bills were not helpful in addressing the DOT’s failure to complete the 2019 Street plan and also that not all of them were considered high priorities. The bills included measures to protect students on their way to school with safety signs, the installation of bollards on some sidewalks and crosswalks, the installation of reflective material on some curbs and speed bumps near senior centers. According to activists, the 8 bills proposed by the City council are not bold enough.
During the hearing however, both city council members and the head of the DOT agreed on Intro 441 that asks the NY State legislature to pass a bill reducing the speed limit in streets participating in the Open Street Program to 5 mph.
Read more in the Gothamist