Construction has kicked off on a whole slew of construction projects aimed at making New York a less terrifying and deadly place for pedestrians and cyclists. The whole initiative will cost the city $1.6 billion, and is a key part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ongoing “Vision Zero” campaign.
The whole initiative stems from the fact that New Yorkers drive like maniacs, especially when it’s dark out. During the first quarter of 2016, 48 people were killed by cars on New York’s streets. Earlier this month, the city launched a weeklong initiative to issue more summonses for dangerous driving violations—they ended up issuing more than 17,000 as a part of the initiative, including 1,915 for failing to yield to a pedestrian.
The mayor held a press conference at the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge at Tillary Street on Tuesday, an area that has seen 482 injuries and 23 deaths over the last five years. He highlighted projects in all five boroughs that are kicking off this spring, including the widening of pedestrian and bicycle entrances leading to the Brooklyn Bridge promenade, protected bike lanes in Williamsburg, Flatiron, Greenwich Village and beyond, neighborhood traffic circles in Staten Island and much, much more.
When it’s all said and done, Vision Zero will be one of the more notable campaigns during de Blasio’s first term. It remains to be seen how effective the initiative actually is.