Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.
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Reflecting on a Decade of Vision Zero in NYC: The Tale of Two Streets

Queens Boulevard, once notoriously dubbed “the Boulevard of Death,” has seen a remarkable turnaround. In 1997, this street was a pedestrian nightmare, claiming 18 lives. However, since Vision Zero’s implementation in 2014, fatalities have drastically reduced, with some years witnessing zero deaths.

ThAtlantic Avenueis transformation didn’t happen by chance. It was the result of a concerted effort by the city, involving adjustments in pedestrian signal timings, road safety improvements, and the introduction of bike lanes. These measures not only enhanced safety but also fostered a more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly environment.

However, Atlantic Avenue tells a different story. Despite being another major NYC artery, it hasn’t received the same level of attention or intervention. The result is alarming: in the last decade, Atlantic Avenue has witnessed 40 traffic deaths, a number four times higher than that of Queens Boulevard. This stark contrast exemplifies the uneven application of Vision Zero across the city.

As legal professionals dealing with the aftermath of traffic accidents, we can’t help but emphasize the need for equitable road safety measures. The disparity between Queens Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue illustrates a critical point – road safety initiatives must be inclusive and comprehensive to be effective.

The city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) has made strides in reducing overall traffic fatalities. However, the increase in cyclist deaths, particularly involving e-bikes, and the persisting dangers of Atlantic Avenue highlight areas needing immediate attention.

The proposed rezoning of Atlantic Avenue offers a glimmer of hope, potentially bringing street redesigns akin to those on Queens Boulevard. But for this to materialize into tangible changes, strong political will and community support are essential. Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso’s skepticism about Mayor Eric Adams’ commitment to this cause underscores the complexity of urban planning and the necessity of unwavering political support.

Read more in the Gothamist

Picture of Atlantic Ave: Courtesy of Wikipedia