Letter To City Hall Lauds Bike Lanes And Other Street Safety Improvements
September 22, 2011
Michael Murphy 646-873-6008
The New York Chapter of the American Association of Family Physicians joined Transportation Alternatives to release a letter today, signed by 140 medical professionals, in support of New York City's efforts to calm traffic and make the city safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.
With streets and sidewalks making 80 percent of the city's open space, the broad assortment of medical professionals say the recent changes to New York City's streets are key to improving New Yorkers' health.
"The pedestrian plazas, car-free spaces, neighborhood bike networks and world-class bicycle lanes...are vital to the public health of our city," states the letter. "These changes help pave the way for a city that breathes cleaner air and is in better physical condition."
Bicycling is currently the fastest growing mode of transportation in New York City and pedestrian safety is at an all-time high. Pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities have declined by 15 percent between 2001 and 2009, according to the New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee. Pedestrian and bicyclist severe injuries have declined 19 percent over that same period. This decline in traffic deaths and serious injuries occurred as the City made an unprecedented commitment to "complete streets," streets designed and managed for safe mobility for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and public transport users of all ages and abilities. Since 2006, the City has laid down more than 250 miles of bikes lanes and converted areas like Times Square in Manhattan, Fordham Plaza in the Bronx and Albee Square in Brooklyn to pedestrian-friendly public plazas.
The medical professionals support the expansion of New York City's bike lane network and continued efforts to make complete streets a reality.
Transportation Alternatives, along with the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, released a report in June pointing the way toward zero deaths and serious injuries on New York City streets. The report, called "Vision Zero: How Safer Streets In New York City Can Save Over 100 Lives A Year," called for a continued commitment to complete streets.