The City Council wants Mayor de Blasio to double funding for DOT capital projects to overhaul the city’s most dangerous streets and save more lives, faster.
At a council budget hearing last week, transportation chair Ydanis Rodriguez called for additional funds in the executive budget for the “Great Streets” program. As of now the mayor’s budget proposes $250 million for safety improvements on streets selected for the initiative: Queens Boulevard, the Grand Concourse, and Atlantic Avenue and Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn. Motorists killed 34 pedestrians, and seriously injured 215, on those four streets from 2009 to 2013.
In April, the City Council’s preliminary budget called for a much larger “Great Streets” allocation of $500 million. Rodriguez and the council reiterated that demand in a statement published by the Daily News today. “With $250 million additional dollars we can more than double the amount of redesigned roadways,” said Rodriguez. “Though the executive budget was a good start, the more money we put in, the more results we will attain.”
De Blasio has shown some flexibility in budgeting for streets. Last month, the mayor announced an accelerated DOT repaving schedule at a conference on Staten Island, but did not mention Vision Zero.
We asked the mayor’s office about the council Great Streets ask. De Blasio spokesperson Wiley Norvell sent us this statement: