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Mayor de Blasio urges New Yorkers to avoid driving to the “maximum extent humanly possible”

By Clayton Guse

Mayor de Blasio is not a big fan of automobiles. 

His much-publicized Vision Zero campaign was launched in 2014 around the goal of curbing the number of injuries in the city that result from motor vehicle accidents, and it's seen a good deal of success. On Wednesday, the mayor held a press conference to celebrate the fact that Queens Boulevard has gone more than two years without a traffic fatality.

On top of the milestone in Queens, New York City as a whole saw a 20 percent reduction in roadway fatalities in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period the year in 2016. It's certainly not the sweeping success that the initiative claims to work towards—reducing the number of traffic fatalities in the city toe zero—but it is a mark of progress.

If the city really wants to drastically limit the number of New Yorkers injured in car accidents, the mayor says that the best bet is to not drive at all. 

At Wednesday's press conference, de Blasio was asked what he would say to a resident who is forced to choose between driving and taking the subway to work. His response: "I would always say don't drive. It's as simple as that."

He went on to note that there are plenty of areas in the city that are underserved by public transportation, and that his administration is trying to fill those gaps with select bus service, light rail and new ferry routes. "But to the maximum extent humanly possible, don't drive," he said.

Many a New Yorker might scoff at de Blasio's push to take the subway and claim that frequent delays make it a more hellish experience than driving. But when it comes to that criticism, the mayor gets to pass the buck. The MTA is operated by the state of New York, not the city, so improving subway service falls into the lap of Governor Cuomo and the state legislature. 


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