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About Time: James Vacca Declares Traffic Safety a “Civil Rights Issue”
Posted By Brad Aaron On January 26, 2012 @ 1:30 pm In Bicycling,Gale Brewer,James Vacca,Street Safety,Vacca Watch,Walking | 11 Comments
Bravo, James Vacca.
Brewer has introduced a bill requiring textured pavement around the perimeters of plazas and bike lanes, while other bills would speed up the installation of audible pedestrian signals and mandate accessible online notifications concerning changes to street design. DNAinfo  reports:
“This is a serious civil rights issue,” said City Council Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca, who said he first became aware of the challenges of new street designs from his father, who was blind.
Vacca’s assessment is spot on. Being able to navigate your way to the grocery store without fear of being run over is a civil rights issue. As is taking a bike ride through your neighborhood . As is crossing the street with your elderly mother . As is surviving the walk home from school . Especially so when the risk of being hurt or killed in traffic is higher for some New Yorkers than others .
Vacca has spent a lot of time on camera since taking the helm of the transportation committee, and he has yet to call attention to the hundreds of road deaths and thousands of injuries that occur annually. He has yet to credit the new pedestrian spaces, bike lanes, and street redesigns for making New York a safer city.
After a year devoted to nitpicking street safety improvements  and targeting those who need them  while pandering to parking scofflaws , maybe he and the council will at last turn to the business of safeguarding the rights of everyone who deserves to move about the city safely.
Article printed from Streetsblog New York City: http://www.streetsblog.org
URL to article: http://www.streetsblog.org/2012/01/26/about-time-james-vacca-declares-traffic-safety-a-civil-rights-issue/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/vacca640x480.jpg
 calling attention: http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/wnyc-news-blog/2012/jan/25/helping-blind-navigate-crosswalks/
 blind and sight-impaired pedestrians: http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/top_stories/154804/council-wants-city-streets-made-safer-for-visually-impaired
 DNAinfo: http://www.dnainfo.com/20120125/murray-hill-gramercy/council-pushes-make-dangerous-union-square-plaza-safer-for-blind
 taking a bike ride through your neighborhood: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/06/09/what-we-dont-know-about-the-crash-that-killed-aileen-chen/
 crossing the street with your elderly mother: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/11/11/unlicensed-driver-who-backed-over-and-killed-yolanda-casal-fined-500/
 surviving the walk home from school: http://www.dnainfo.com/20120125/lower-east-side-east-village/family-friends-give-tearful-goodbye-dashane-santana
 higher for some New Yorkers than others: http://www.streetsblog.org/2012/01/19/in-low-income-neighborhoods-children-face-extra-risk-from-traffic/
 nitpicking street safety improvements: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/11/28/vacca-committee-passes-dot-public-review-bills-with-friendly-amendments/
 targeting those who need them: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/putting_meddle_to_the_pedals_euDB0A2JN1eYtdTGAnLuXN
 pandering to parking scofflaws: http://www.streetsblog.org/2012/01/19/quinns-parking-agenda-gives-nothing-to-the-54-percent-who-dont-own-cars/
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