Here is a press release from Transalt in New York – Find Out How the Tragedy Could Have Been Prevented, and What You Can do Going Forward:
In the wake of vehicular attack in New York City, Mayor must redouble Vision Zero efforts to protect walkers and bikers
TransAlt calls for immediate fixes to the Hudson River Greenway
November 1, 2017
Today, the collective heart of New York City is breaking as we learn more about the victims who were needlessly killed and injured on the Hudson River Greenway, the busiest bicycle path in the country
This is a tough day for all New Yorkers – and tough for everyone in the United States and around the world who regularly bikes and walks on city streets. There exists already a baseline sense of vulnerability. Now that feeling is heightened.
The weaponization of motor vehicles is increasingly common, as we saw earlier this year in Barcelona, Charlottesville and Times Square. But the truth is – before the rise of weaponization of motor vehicles – traffic crashes all too often take pedestrian and cyclist lives in New York City.
On Halloween in 2015, a holiday when we need safe streets more than any other, a reckless driver jumped a curb at speed in the Bronx, killing three trick-or-treaters and injuring four others. In 2006, bike rider Eric Ng was killed by a driver who intentionally drove onto the Greenway at high speed at the exact same location as yesterday’s attack. These are just two examples of countless preventable deaths.
Yet contrary to what some have said, there are proven ways to prevent these types of attacks and crashes. Prompted by Eric’s death, advocates have fought for more than a decade to block vehicular access to the Greenway with a common measure known as bollards. These life-saving bollards are already in place at some intersections along the Greenway, such as at Murray and Vesey Streets, but are far from standard and for no good reason.
Unless we change the priorities of our city to place people over the ease of vehicular movement, this will happen again. Across the five boroughs, through the years, this story repeats: a New Yorker is killed by a driver every other day, yet our city’s leaders never change drivers’ unfettered access to our city’s public spaces.
It should be the norm – not the exception – that we provide better protection for New York City’s bike lanes, pedestrian plazas and most crowded sidewalks. In addition to installing bollards, granite blocks and other proven countermeasures to protect bikers and walkers, the city must do a better job of monitoring and managing car and truck traffic. With the very real threats that New York City faces, we must restrict vehicle access to New York City’s most vulnerable areas, such as Lower Manhattan and Midtown. More widely, the City of New York should begin regulating and limiting truck and vehicle access to our city’s most crowded areas the same way that many European cities do for both safety, security and street efficiency rationales. An obvious opportunity for improvement would be to move deliveries that require large trucks to overnight hours when streets are not teeming with pedestrians and cyclists.
Today, as our city grieves, New Yorkers in all five boroughs are also biking and walking as we always do, in greater numbers than ever before. We celebrate these actions as part of what makes New York City great. The Mayor must redouble his commitment to Vision Zero by expanding and accelerating the proven traffic safety measures that protect New York City’s most important public spaces, beginning by first working with whomever necessary to install bollards along potential vehicular access points to the Hudson River Greenway.
Show how You Feel at the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims in New York City on 19th November
While we grieve for lives lost and opportunities for safety measures missed, all of us here at Transportation Alternatives also return with renewed focus to our daily work: Standing up for our right to walk and bike safely in New York City. One of the most empowering acts that we have taken in recent years has been to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with members of Families for Safe Streets as they fight to change the dialogue on traffic violence in New York City and around the world.
Sunday, November 19th is the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, and we will stand beside members of Families for Safe Streets again, more emboldened than ever before. To honor the memories of their loved ones, those killed and injured on Tuesday, and all whose lives have been needlessly lost to traffic violence, Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives will gather together at City Hall Park.
Where: City Hall Park, Between Centre Street and Broadway, Manhattan
On November 19th, we’ll stand hand-in-hand, forming a massive “0” around City Hall. We have asked the Mayor and the Governor to stand with us, to honor the memories of traffic violence victims, and to redouble their commitment to realize the promise of Vision Zero: not one more life lost or injured in preventable traffic violence.
CLICK HERE to sign up to receive more information about the rally and tell our elected officials they need to act.
Like you, we also woke up anxious today — anxious to bike to work, to take the kids to school. But we also know that, when we raise our voices together and demand action, we honor the lives of those lost, and we help prevent the next tragedy.
We are profoundly grateful that you are part of the Transportation Alternatives community. We hope to stand beside you on November 19th.
Paul and Caroline
P.S. Can’t join us on the 19th? You can still help. Spread the word about the World Day of Remembrance by inviting your friends on Facebook and Twitter.