Ped safety topic of town hall in Brooklyn
by Jason Cohen
Apr 02, 2014 | 403 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With traffic-related deaths on the rise and Mayor Bill de Blasio in the process of implementing Vision Zero, Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo held a pedestrian safety town hall last week at Medger Evers College.

Cumbo said there are too many dangerous roads in Brooklyn, including Eastern Parkway and Atlantic Avenue, and that children should not be killed crossing a street.

“Their lives could have been saved through safety improvements such as the ones proposed by

Mayor de Blasio’s vision zero action plan,” she said.

Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said the agency is working hard to address this problem, and recently approved 50 new safety projects, including one for Atlantic Avenue.

She called on the community needs to come together and help solve the growing problem.

“Vision Zero is really about our collective efforts” Trottenberg said.

NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan recently spoke with executive officers across the five boroughs and stressed how important it is to enforce infractions like not yielding to pedestrians, disobeying signals and improper turns.

Like Trottenberg, Chan said they are looking for support in the community.

“As a department, we can’t enforce our way out of this situation,” he said.

Noah Budnick of Transportation Alternatives noted seniors and children are affected the most.

“The penalty for a kid chasing a ball into the street shouldn’t be death,” Budnick said. “When you make streets safer for seniors and kids, it’s going to make them safer for everyone else.”

Resident John Longo spoke about his near-death experience on Atlantic Avenue. Longo owns a restaurant on the busy street and lives nearby, so he typically crosses the street about four times a day. On December 6, he was blindsided by a car.

He landed on the hood of the car and was thrown 15 feet in the air. He fell on the back of his head and initially thought he was oaky, but broke three vertebrates.

“I never even saw the car,” he said.
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