Vision Zero: A Tale of Two News Events
As many of you may know by now, yesterday NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio held a historic press conference to announce the beginnings of implementing a "Vision Zero" approach to NYC's dangerous streets. We decided to take the unusual route and put up a good deal of long (but edited) soundbites from the press conference in Queens rather than do a traditional Streetfilm. Why? Because we know there are many advocates and interested transportation wonks out there who will want to hear the bulk of the speech versus the 20 or 30 seconds worth of speeches you'll get in a news story.
But later that night, the community on Manhattan's Upper West Side held a vigil to remember recent victims of traffic violence there. There were nearly 300 people there spilling over the sidewalks. The mood was sad, but also angry. And although many folks were happy to hear that the Mayor is taking unprecedented action to help make our streets more safe to navigate for pedestrians, there is still a level of caution amongst the optimism. You can be sure advocates will be keeping a watchful and supportive eye.
As a personal note, I'd like to say that as someone who has been volunteering and helping work for more livable streets since the late 1990's. I have never seen such a level of optimism amongst advocates. But we've also had some unbelievably tragic events occur in the last 3 months. We cannot waste this unique moment of time. We need to support Mayor de Blaiso, and we need to strive to do even more in the months to come.