The de Blasio administration continued implementing the Mayor’s “Vision Zero” program last week with a slew of initiatives meant to reduce the likelihood of pedestrian accidents in New York City. According to ABC 7 New York, the Mayor’s plan, which aims to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths to zero each year, has been fairly successful. The number of pedestrian accidents in the city is the lowest ever recorded, according to The New York Times. The city has seen its rate of pedestrian accidents decline each year of Vision Zero’s implementation, which initially focused on installing more bike lanes, reducing speed limits, and creating more pedestrian plazas.
Now that those policies have been fully implemented, Mayor de Blasio’s administration is moving forward with a different set of policy initiatives meant to lower the pedestrian accident rate even lower. According to ABC News, these new initiatives will include:
- Congestion Pricing. New York became the first city in the United States to pass congestion pricing this year. Beginning in 2020, drivers entering Manhattan’s congested areas will be subjected to a hefty fee – which has not been disclosed but is expected to settle between $15 and $20. The Mayor expects congestion pricing to substantially reduce the congestion in the city and, consequently, reduce the number of car accidents. Judging by the success of congestion pricing in other cities across the world, the Mayor’s prediction appears likely to come true.
- Increased Off-Hour Deliveries. The city will work with businesses to accept more off-hour delivers in the Central Business District. This will reduce the number of freight vehicles in the city during the rush-hour periods when most pedestrians are on the street.
- New Pedestrian Spaces. While the transformation of Midtown streets into pedestrian plazas is largely complete, the revival of the Financial District has drawn the attention of the de Blasio administration to the narrow sidewalks and inadequate pedestrian plazas. The Mayor plans to focus his next slew of pedestrian plaza recommendations on the heavily-trafficked parts of downtown.
- Better Buses Action Plan. Mayor de Blasio released a plan that will increase the average bus speed by 25 percent. This ambitious project will also include reformatting curbside bus lanes to provide more pedestrian protection and increasing the number of physical barriers around bus stations. Overall, the Mayor says these improvements will help reduce pedestrian accidents.
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