Mayor de Blasio pushes ‘Vision Zero’ at event remembering traffic victims

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MANHATTAN – Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday renewed his commitment to his "Vision Zero" initiative, before an emotional  gathering of families who lost loved ones to what he referred to as “traffic violence.”

“We know traffic violence doesn’t discriminate.  It touches every neighborhood, every kind of family.  What those families have in common is their lives were torn apart by a crash that could have been avoided.  That’s what we seek to act on every day,” said

de Blasio at the event in City Hall Park marking the 20th anniversary of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.   “We’ve seen already lowering the speed limit makes a difference.”

The mayor recently noted that the NYPD has issued some 30,000 tickets this year for failing to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.  That’s triple the amount written up before Vision Zero was implemented.

“That effort will only continue and deepen,” he vowed.

The city’s participation in the World Day of Remembrance comes after a string of deadly crashes that began on Halloween when a driver went out of control on a Bronx street, killing a 10-year-old trick or treater, her grandfather and a 24-year old man.

Thirteen pedestrians lost their lives over those two weeks.

“Yes, our brothers and sisters at the DOT and the NYPD and other city agencies are doing their job to prevent tragedy.  But this is still a very political issue.  We are not yet to the point when protected bike lanes, wide sidewalks, enough time for senior citizens to cross the street--we’re not yet there where

these common sense improvements are done routinely,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of the group Transportation Alternatives.