Statement of Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives:
“It has been a deadly ten days on New York City streets. Video was just released of the latest fatal crash, which occurred this morning, where a private bus appears to speed into an MTA bus on Northern Boulevard in Flushing, Queens. Three people were killed, including one pedestrian, and more than a dozen were injured.
Northern Boulevard is a known dangerous street, and designated as a Vision Zero Priority Corridor by City Hall. Vision Zero Priority Corridors are the streets with the highest rate of people killed and seriously injured in each borough. Northern Boulevard was designated a Vision Zero priority 32 months ago.
In the past 32 months, no changes have been made to the segment of Northern Boulevard that passes through Flushing. Only a fraction of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero Priority Corridors have been reengineered, and he has not published a timeline for when the remaining majority will receive treatment. Before more innocent lives are taken on Northern Boulevard, or another of the city’s most deadly streets, Transportation Alternatives calls on Mayor Bill de Blasio to immediately publish a timeline for fixing all 154 Vision Zero Priority Corridors and 292 Priority Intersections.
The private bus company involved in the crash in Flushing has also been involved in the death of one other person, 36 injuries, and numerous safety violations in recent years. While human error is difficult to prevent entirely, reengineering streets with safety upgrades is the single most efficient way to reduce crashes, and save lives when crashes do occur. On reengineered streets, crashes are both less likely and less deadly. The backbone of Vision Zero is a network of streets designed to reduce the risk and severity of crashes.
In the past ten days, at least seven people have been killed in crashes, including a motorcyclist, a driver, a vehicle passenger, a cyclist, and three pedestrians. At least five New Yorkers on bikes were injured by reckless drivers in separate incidents; one was killed, two remain in serious condition.
It is critical to Vision Zero’s success that New Yorkers hear from Mayor Bill de Blasio in moments of preventable traffic violence. This week, the mayor commendably took up that mantle, reasserting his commitment to ending cyclists fatalities on Twitter, and appearing on the scene at this morning’s crash in Flushing.”