What Does the Future Hold for New York City’s Vision Zero Plan?
More than five years have passed since New York City’s Vision Zero initiative was launched with the goal of ending pedestrian and cyclist deaths by 2024. Looking ahead to the second half of the campaign, some activists and interest groups are questioning if and how further progress will be made.
A “die-in” protest this summer at Washington Square Park — in remembrance of the 15 city cyclists killed in accidents during the first seven months of 2019 — highlighted how serious the problem still is. Sadly, the tragic deaths have continued and left city officials and residents concerned about how Vision Zero will be adjusted in the coming years to address issues such as:
- Outer borough fatalities — Though much media attention focuses on Manhattan, key safety measures have not been as prompt or recognizable in the city’s other four boroughs. One example cited by cyclists is the long amount of time it took to establish safe bike lanes on Brooklyn’s heavily traveled Fourth Avenue.
- Potential structural changes —Incremental advances such as painted bike lanes and efforts to reduce accidents at particularly dangerous intersections have helped the situation. However, further gains might depend on a structural overhaul of the way in which motor vehicles share the city’s streets with bicycles and pedestrians. This is particularly important in light of the growth in bike traffic triggered in part by Citi Bike and other sharing services.
- New types of vehicles — As the city works on protecting walkers and people on bicycles, motorized scooters, e-bikes and other small vehicles have become increasingly common throughout the country. This trend complicates the traffic problem, as small motorized vehicles present a threat to pedestrians but are threatened themselves by cars and trucks.
Under Vision Zero, overall traffic deaths have gone down by about one-third, but the latest accounts demonstrate that pedestrian and bicycle accidents remain a serious problem. Injuries resulting from collisions with motor vehicles can be devastating and even fatal. If you or a loved one has been struck, it’s critical to find an attorney who has achieved successful results in these types of claims.
Barasch & McGarry represents New Yorkers in personal injury and wrongful death actions arising from accidents where a vehicle hits a pedestrian or cyclist. To schedule a free consultation with one of our accomplished lawyers, please call 888.746.8212 or contact us online.