Advocates push Hochul to expand NYC's Vision Zero program statewide

Advocates push Hochul to expand NYC’s Vision Zero program statewide

Avenue security advocates on Thursday urged Gov. Kathy Hochul to expand New York Metropolis’s Vision Zero program statewide — and pointed to a 2006 plan laid out by the state Division of Transportation as proof that New York is lagging on targets to push commuters out of automobiles.

The plan — put forth underneath former Gov. George Pataki — sought to combine and enhance the area’s transit networks by 2030, with the aim of lowering automotive utilization, site visitors deaths and air air pollution.

With simply seven years left, carbon emissions within the state are up, site visitors deaths stay excessive, and the MTA, NJ Transit and the Port Authority all function impartial transit techniques.

A brand new report from the advocacy group Transportation Alternate options highlights how far New York nonetheless has to go to understand Pataki’s 16-year-old plan, and urged Hochul to take related steps as she prepares to lay out her agenda for the yr in subsequent week’s State of the State tackle.

The group’s targets heart on implementing town’s Vision Zero program statewide, with the aim of eliminating site visitors deaths solely by 2050.

Town’s Vision Zero initiative launched in 2014 underneath former Mayor Invoice de Blasio. It referred to as for eliminating all site visitors deaths throughout the 5 boroughs by 2024. Final yr, 252 individuals have been killed by drivers, 47 fewer than 2013, the yr earlier than Vision Zero launched.

Transportation Alternate options additionally desires Hochul to require all state DOT tasks to contemplate accessibility wants, in addition to pedestrian and bicycle owner options.

Hochul has already taken some steps in that course by signing the Full Streets invoice final yr, which permits further funding for cities and cities to add security options when redesigning streets.

“To achieve our climate goals, prevent traffic violence, address inequities and support our economic recovery, we must put our streets to higher use,” Danny Harris, government director of Transportation Alternate options, wrote in an announcement.

Michael Fleischer, a former government director of the state Thruway Authority who contributed to the 2006 plan, mentioned state officers have been forward of the curve by desirous about lowering greenhouse emissions almost 20 years in the past.

“The master plan was always intended to be a living document, it was not intended to be a list of projects but a way of looking at transportation policy and practices,” mentioned Fleischer. “And ways that all the transportation partners can look at these issues, not from a siloed ‘what agency do I work for,’ but what is the best transportation solution.”

One other demand from secure streets advocates is to go Sammy’s Regulation, which might enable New York Metropolis lawmakers to set the velocity restrict for town with out approval from state legislators.

Whereas the majority of the requests from Transportation Alternate options centered on lowering using automobiles and the harm brought on by them, the group additionally desires Hochul to make biking safer and extra reasonably priced. It referred to as for the state to provide rebates for getting an e-bike or bicycle. Additionally they need to legalize the “Idaho stop,” which permits cyclists to roll by a cease signal if there are not any automobiles current. Safe bike parking at subway stations and different state-owned transit services was additionally a part of the pitch.

The group additionally proposed a brand new program to enable low-income residents to lease e-bike and e-cargo bikes from libraries.

It stays unclear to what diploma Hochul will hone in on avenue issues of safety throughout subsequent week’s tackle. She has mentioned she’ll define new funding for the MTA, which forecasts a significant finances crunch within the coming years.

“Governor Hochul has taken motion to guarantee the protection of all New Yorkers, whether or not you are on the sidewalk, in a automotive, using a motorbike, or using transit companies, and we’re dedicated to working with the legislature to proceed to enhance transportation entry and security and meet our local weather targets,” Hochul spokesperson John Lindsay advised Gothamist on Wednesday.

Transportation Alternate options has a suggestion to tackle the MTA’s multibillion-dollar fiscal cliff: use federal funds devoted to freeway tasks to hold the company’s funds above water.

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