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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Makes Historic “Vision Zero” Announcement

In 2013, NYC recorded a record-low 333 homicides, yet at least 286 people lost their lives to traffic violence. In a press conference on January 15, Mayor Bill de Blasio said it's "shocking to see how much those two numbers correspond."

In announcing his first steps to implement Vision Zero, the goal of eliminating traffic deaths, he said, "The first obligation of government is to protect the health and safety of our people, and this is an area we simply have to do better. We think there is an epidemic here, there has been an epidemic of traffic fatalties and it can't go on. And the time to start change is now."

The mayor made the announcement near the site where 8-year-old Noshat Nahian was killed by an unlicensed truck driver in a crosswalk last month while walking to school. The site is not far from where three other Queens youth have tragically had their lives taken from them. The mayor met with the families of many people who've lost loved ones to traffic violence.

Here we've assembled some highlights of the event, which also included NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and incoming NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

Clarence Eckerson Jr. has been making fantastical transportation media in NYC since the late 1990s. He's never had a driver's license and never will.

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  • Clarence

    "The first obligation of government is to protect the health and safety of our people, and this is an area we simply have to do better. We think there is an epidemic here, there has been an epidemic of traffic fatalties and it can't go on. And the time to start change is now." - Mayor Bill de Blasio, 1/15/2014

  • Cantor Ben Kintisch

    Thank you Clarence for this beautifully made video. As I watched this last night I was moved to tears. We livable streets activists have been alternating between hopefulness and hopelessness for years - Hopeful when a new bike lane goes in, when an intersection is redesigned for safety. And hopeless when another neighbor, child, adult, or senior citizen is killed by a motorist. Today I am so glad to feel hopeful again!

  • Walker Angell

    Sadly, as bad as they are, fatalities are less than half the problem. How many people throughout NYC (and the U.S.) are permanently and seriously injured by people driving cars vs similar injuries from assault?

  • SteveVaccaro

    Love the images of grassroots protest with the historic announcement as the voice-over, Clarence. What an dramatic way to communicate that this historic change was not bestowed upon, but demanded and won, by the people of our city.

  • http://www.streetfilms.org/ Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Thanks Steve. I wish I had more time to go even deeper into the archives. But the news crush did not allow it. Perhaps sometime in the future if we have much success with Vision Zero, it would be nice to take Mayor de Blaiso's words and put them over even more archives.