STATEMENT FROM COUNCIL MEMBER MARK LEVINE ON MAYOR'S VISION ZERO PLAN FOR SPEED LIMITS

"Elected officials have an obligation to families and seniors living in New York City to make our roads safe and walkable. Studies have shown that pedestrian fatality rates drop to 5-10% when the speed limit is lowered to 25mph. There is no excuse for the recent tragic and avoidable deaths that were caused by the recklessness of speeding drivers in this area. We must act now to reduce the speed limit in our streets.

Mayor de Blasio's Vision Zero plan allows communities to prioritize safety and ensures that New York City remains the pedestrian-friendly city we are proud to be. Our city will be substantially safer if we implemented a few simple and obvious changes, such as an increase in placement of traffic signs that call for drivers to yield to pedestrians or to lower their speed in high traffic areas.

Recently, we called upon the NYPD to ramp up their enforcement of traffic violations. In a report issued earlier this month that included the input of local community boards on safety issues, Upper Manhattan had the highest number of dangerous crossings for pedestrians. There were 17 spots of concern in Upper Manhattan out of 57 total boroughwide. Elected officials, DOT, and the NYPD must work together to prevent any additional senseless traffic-related pedestrian deaths uptown and throughout the city. We need a reexamination of the way pedestrians and vehicles use our streets and sidewalks, while simultaneously providing the police department with the tools they need to adequately enforce traffic laws.  To achieve the worthwhile goals of Vision Zero, the state must also help in making our streets safer by voting to lower the speed limit, authorizing more traffic cameras to catch speeding drivers illegally crossing red lights, expanding the scope in which drivers can be prosecuted for violations, and improving overall traffic safety."

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