Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Street Safety Advocates Call for Passage of "Streets Master Plan" Bill

Joseph Cutrufo -
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NEW YORK -- City Council Speaker Corey Johnson gathered with Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives outside 250 Broadway on Tuesday in advance of the advocacy groups' lobbying effort to build support for Johnson’s Streets Master Plan bill (Intro 1557-2019).
 
Volunteers from Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives met with more than a dozen council members throughout the day to ask them to support the Streets Master Plan bill, which lays out an accelerated vision, and codifies into law, a "roadmap" to creating streets that serve the majority of New Yorkers. It will mandate the creation of 50 miles of protected bike lanes per year, 30 miles of bus lanes per year, and will dramatically expand the number of ADA-compliant intersections citywide.
 
While traffic deaths fell during the first five years since New York City adopted Vision Zero, we are beginning to see the limitations of the way the program has been implemented. In order to move closer to eliminating deaths and serious injuries on our streets, New York needs a bold and comprehensive vision like the one laid out in the Streets Master Plan bill. 
 
Nine new council members committed to signing on as co-sponsors during yesterday’s lobby day, which would bring the total number to 20. More are expected to sign on in the coming days.
 
“The way we plan our streets makes no sense and New Yorkers pay the price every day on slow buses, biking on streets with no bike lanes, or walking on streets without enough sidewalk space. Far too often New Yorkers pay the price for our poorly designed streets with their lives. My master plan bill will revolutionize the way we plan our streets and will bring our city into the 21st century in terms of prioritizing mass transit users, pedestrians, and cyclists over private automobiles. I thank Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives for their leadership on this critical issue and I look forward to getting this done, together.” Said New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
 
“Speaker Johnson’s Streets Master Plan would bring not incremental change, but miles upon miles of bus lanes, bike lanes and accessible intersections across our city,” said Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris. “The Streets Master Plan will save the lives of thousands of New Yorkers, and we stand with Speaker Johnson for the hope of a better tomorrow.”
 
“When we’re faced with an epidemic, we don’t distribute the antidote on a block-by-block basis. So why have we been implementing safety measures one street at a time, and often not until after somebody has been killed?” said Amy Cohen, founding member of Families for Safe Streets. “We should be proactive about saving lives, and that’s why Families for Safe Streets stands in solidarity with Council Speaker Corey Johnson to support the Streets Master Plan bill.”
 
“We must keep working towards resolving the conditions that have led to the increase in cyclists and pedestrian fatalities in the City. I thank the advocates for the work they are doing each and every day to increase awareness and demand solutions to cyclist related crashes across the 5 boroughs,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chairman of the Transportation Committee. “Since being elected into office and as Chair of the Transportation Committee, I have repeatedly called for an increase in Protected Bike Lanes across the City. I am confident that the Master Plan Bill spearheaded by Speaker Corey Johnson will take all New Yorkers to a safer tomorrow. I will continue working alongside my colleagues to ensure we make New York City the most walkable, pedestrian and Cyclist friendly city in the country.”
 
"Speaker Johnson's Streets Master Plan bill will mean a safer and more efficient New York City for all," said Council Member Daniel Dromm. "Our city has successfully reduced traffic-related fatalities over the past several years, and this plan will ensure that we continue to move in the right direction. Protected bike lanes and bus lanes help keep pedestrians, cyclists and motorists out of harm's way; at the same time, they keep traffic moving and alleviate congestion.  I am pleased to stand with Speaker Johnson, Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives in support of this progressive plan to transform our streets."
 
“We must speed up efforts to redesign our city’s streets to make them more sustainable and accessible for all New Yorkers. That’s why I strongly support the Streets Master Plan bill,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “Expanding protected bike lanes and bus lanes and modernizing infrastructure at the street level will work to calm traffic and improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. I am thankful to Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives for their advocacy and committed to helping get this bill passed by the Council.”
 
"I am proud to sign on to Speaker Johnson's Streets Master Plan to create dramatic increases in protected bike and bus lanes, thousands of safer intersections, and a comprehensive plan to transform our streets. Tackling our epidemic of street violence will require both redesigning streets to make intersections safer and holding reckless drivers accountable. Thank you to Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets for your tireless organizing to make sure we get both of these bills done this year, before more families lose loved ones," said Council Member Brad Lander.
 
“Every life lost on our streets is a tragedy and we have to do everything in our power to prevent any further loss of life,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, chair of the Committee on Public Safety. “I’m proud to stand with Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets in supporting Speaker Johnson’s Streets Master plan.”
 
"Too many innocent lives have been lost this year due to preventable collisions between vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "The time is now to pass crucial legislation to prevent the ongoing loss of life on our streets. A 'Streets Master Plan' for our City is long overdue and New Yorkers are paying the price with their lives. Let's make Vision Zero a reality, not a buzzword."   
 
“The safety and well-being of New Yorkers comes before everything else. We must do more to improve our streets and design them in a way that protects pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers alike. I am proud to advocate for smarter and safer streets through Speaker Johnson’s innovative ‘Streets Master Plan’ to better protect all New Yorkers,” said Council Member Keith Powers.