Skip to content

Posts from the "The Transition to Bill de Blasio" Category

10 Comments

NYPD’s New Transportation Chief Talks Vision Zero at Council Hearing

Family members of those killed in NYC traffic told their stories to the City Council transportation and public safety committees today. Photo: Stephen Miller

People who’ve lost loved ones to traffic violence told their stories to the City Council today. Photo: Stephen Miller

A marathon City Council hearing elicited some new details about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero agenda and brought out the raw emotion of New Yorkers mourning loved ones killed on city streets.

The top item on the agenda at the joint transportation and public safety committee hearing was police enforcement of traffic laws. Newly-minted NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan said the department would focus on speeding and failure to yield, as well as improper turns, disobeying signage, and using a handheld device while driving.

NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan said precincts need to devote more resources to traffic safety to achieve the goals of Vision Zero.

Chan trumpeted a recent increase in staffing at the Highway Division, soon increasing to 270 officers from the previous 170. But under questioning from Council Member Corey Johnson, Chan revealed some of the limitations of that unit. “They’re dedicated to patrol the highways: FDR Drive, Henry Hudson Parkway and roadways of that nature,” Chan said. “In terms of enforcement on the street, it’s going to be on the precinct level.”

With precinct-level attention traditionally focused on violent and property crime, many council members were skeptical that the department would devote sufficient resources to traffic safety. Chan said there are currently 56 speed guns distributed between 32 of the department’s 77 precincts, and the department has another 200 speed guns on order — most of them using laser technology, which is more effective on city streets than traditional radar. Additional officers at each precinct will receive the four-day training to operate speed guns, Chan said.

Council Member James Vacca said a reduction in manpower has made it more difficult for the department to do traffic enforcement. “Since 2001, the Highway Unit was cut by 50 percent,” he said. “Local precincts were also coping with a 7,000[-person] citywide reduction in manpower.”

For Vision Zero to be successful, Council Member Brad Lander said, it has to be about more than just providing additional manpower, which may or may not materialize. “This is a big change in NYPD culture and structure,” he said. “Recruits don’t sign up for the academy, in their minds, to write speeding tickets.”

“My goal is to change the mindset of the individual officers who are on daily patrol in the precincts. They are the ones who are going to make a difference on this,” Chan said. “I cannot rely on a speciality unit to do this to achieve this goal.”

Read more…

16 Comments

De Blasio on Vision Zero: “We Have to Act Right Now to Protect Lives”

viz_zero_london

London’s pedestrian fatality rate has fallen faster than New York’s in part, the Vision Zero report says, because of stronger laws against dangerous drivers and robust automated enforcement. Image: NYC Mayor’s Office

At PS 75 on the Upper West Side today, just blocks from where 9-year-old Cooper Stock was struck and killed by a turning taxi driver last month, Mayor de Blasio released the blueprint [PDF] for how his administration will achieve Vision Zero, its goal of eliminating traffic deaths within a decade.

“We have to act right now to protect lives,” de Blasio said. With elected officials to his left and families of traffic violence victims to his right, the mayor said that he sees “this mission in terms of our core responsibility in government, which is the health and safety of our people.”

“It’s about much more than speed bumps and the issuing of violations. It’s also about all of us taking greater responsibility,” de Blasio said. “Every time we get behind the wheel and every time we step out into the street, our lives are in each others’ hands.”

The report is focused squarely on deadly and dangerous driving, and most of the attention at today’s press conference — from the mayor and press alike — focused on traffic enforcement, with street redesigns trailing closely.

“Over the last five years, 70 percent of incidents involving pedestrian fatalities involve the issue of speed or failure to yield,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said. “The department’s efforts going forward will focus very significantly on those types of violations.” This is a shift for Bratton, who at last month’s press conference unveiling the Vision Zero agenda said 73 percent of collisions are due to pedestrian error.

Today’s press conference was just blocks from the busy intersection of West 96th Street and Broadway, where the 24th Precinct launched a jaywalking crackdown last month, and the first question from the press today was about whether Vision Zero would include jaywalking tickets. De Blasio said, as he did last month, that jaywalking tickets are not part of the Vision Zero agenda, but added that precinct commanders have discretion to issue summonses to pedestrians if they deem it necessary.

A grin spread across Bratton’s face as the reporter asked about jaywalking. “With our resources, we’re going to put our focus on where we can have the most impact, most quickly,” he said, “And that is on dealing with the vehicular component.”

Read more…

3 Comments

De Blasio Appoints Carl Weisbrod to Head Up the Planning Department

Mayor Bill de Blasio has named Carl Weisbrod to lead the Department of City Planning. Weisbrod, who co-chaired de Blasio’s transition team and has deep experience in city government, now commands a post with tremendous power to shape the quality of New York City’s built environment. Of particular interest for the city’s transportation and housing future will be how vigorously Weisbrod pursues reform of NYC’s parking minimums, which Amanda Burden, the previous planning commissioner, barely touched.

Carl Weisbrod

In a statement, the mayor’s office said Weisbrod will be charged with “using all the tools at the city’s disposal to lift up working New Yorkers, keep neighborhoods affordable, and create stronger, more resilient communities.”

Weisbrod is an insider whose resume includes spearheading Times Square revitalization efforts under Ed Koch and starting up the NYC Economic Development Corporation under David Dinkins. More recently, as head of Trinity Church’s downtown real estate arm, he helped create the Hudson Square BID. Weisbrod is currently a partner with real estate consulting firm HR&A Advisors.

While EDC has developed a well-earned reputation for patronage and parking subsidies, especially in parts of town outside the Manhattan core, Weisbrod built his career mainly in places where the walking environment couldn’t be ignored. He seems to have a good feel, at least by association, for what makes city streets work. The Hudson Square BID, for instance, has been a major proponent of pedestrian safety and public space improvements the last few years.

Still, Weisbrod doesn’t bring quite the same clear-cut policy chops as some other contenders. One of the most important reforms the planning department can spearhead is the elimination of parking mandates that drive up the cost of housing and generate traffic. Anna Hayes Levin, a member of the City Planning Commission who early in the transition was rumored to be in the running for the position, fought against the 17,500 parking spaces called for in the city’s initial plan for Hudson Yards when she was a member of Community Board 4. (Advocates successfully sued the city and a cap of 6,100 spaces was implemented instead.) And Vicki Been, the director of NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy who was reportedly a finalist for the spot, authored the definitive report about how parking minimums making housing in New York less affordable.

Weisbrod’s insider perspective could be an asset if the administration decides to stop building suburban levels of parking as part of most city-subsidized redevelopment projects. Many of the projects that build parking-saturated development on city land are driven by masters of finance, and Weisbrod speaks their language.

9 Comments

DCP Releases Timid Parking Reform Study for the Boroughs

A report from the Department of City Planning issued during the final days of the Bloomberg administration is a trove of data about parking, but a look behind the pretty maps reveals a department that remains focused on dictating the supply of parking spaces and reluctant to use its power to reduce traffic and improve housing affordability. Mayor de Blasio and his to-be-announced city planning commissioner will have to fix this backwards approach to turn parking reform into an effective tool for the administration’s affordability agenda.

After targeting Downtown Brooklyn and the Manhattan Core, DCP is looking at parking in the “inner ring.” Map: DCP

Under Amanda Burden, the Department of City Planning acknowledged the negative impact of parking mandates on environmental and affordability goals, then ignored many of those concerns when it came time to setting actual parking policy. Instead, the Bloomberg administration preferred to tinker with decades-old parking mandates in a few locations while preserving them across most of the five boroughs, using the promise of off-street parking as a bargaining chip to quell residents skittish about new development.

Absent a course correction from the de Blasio administration, this broken approach to parking could continue on auto-pilot. Timid half-measures that DCP made in the Manhattan core and Downtown Brooklyn appear set to spread to adjacent neighborhoods in the “inner ring” covering much of the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and upper Manhattan.

In a report released last month examining parking in those neighborhoods, DCP set the stage for future policy changes by casting itself as the arbiter of parking demand. The report discusses how to adjust parking requirements to match that demand, rather than using policy as a tool to reduce traffic and drive down the cost of housing for all New Yorkers.

There is one bright spot in the report: the recommendations for income-restricted affordable housing. “Parking facilities are often expensive to construct and affect the cost of constructing residential buildings,” says the report, noting that the median cost of structured parking in New York City is the highest in the country at $21,000 per space — sometimes spiking as high as $50,000 per space. “Excessive parking requirements could hinder housing production, making housing less affordable,” it says. But instead of applying this logic to all new housing, the report focuses narrowly on subsidized units.

“Affordable housing is more susceptible than market-rate housing to the cost implications of requiring accessory parking,” the report says, noting that low-income residents are less likely to own cars and less able to pay for parking. “Updating requirements for affordable housing to better match the needs of its residents can reduce construction costs and enable more affordable units to be built.”

This issue plays out constantly in the city. In Harlem right now, a developer is looking to reduce costs by building fewer parking spaces than required, and some community board members want the savings to go toward providing more affordable housing units, according to DNAinfo. But the implications for affordable housing aren’t limited to subsidized units. If the city eliminated all parking requirements, more resources could be devoted to building homes and apartments, not car storage, and housing overall would become more affordable.

Read more…

10 Comments

De Blasio Rolls Out a Multi-Agency Approach to Reducing Traffic Violence

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks with the family of Noshat Nahian, an 8-year-old killed while walking to school last month. Photo: NYC Mayor's Office

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks with the family of Noshat Nahian, an 8-year-old killed while walking to school last month. Photo: NYC Mayor’s Office

Calling traffic fatalities an “epidemic” that deserves immediate attention from the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio launched his administration’s “Vision Zero” agenda this afternoon, setting out to eliminate traffic deaths within a decade. The most important news to come out of today’s announcement is that his administration will enlist multiple agencies to tackle the multifaceted problem of traffic violence. A working group led by the city’s police, transportation, health, and taxi commissioners is tasked with coming up with an action plan by February 15.

De Blasio also announced more immediate steps. School-zone speed cameras, which have been issuing warnings since they were installed in September, will begin issuing tickets tomorrow, the mayor said, and the police will begin prioritizing enforcement of the most dangerous infractions: Speeding and failure to yield to pedestrians. In addition, NYPD will be increasing the size of its highway division — which investigates crashes and performs much of the department’s traffic enforcement — to 270 officers, an increase of 50 percent; already, the unit has increased its staff size by 10 percent, up from 170 officers.

De Blasio made the announcement this afternoon at PS 152 in Woodside, where 8-year-old Noshat Nahian was walking last month when, crossing Northern Boulevard with his sister, he was struck and killed by an unlicensed tractor-trailer truck driver. Flanked by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, incoming Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, elected officials, and families of traffic violence victims, de Blasio began his remarks by saying this issue is important to him as a parent. ”Every one of us thinks: ‘What if that was my child?’” he said. “That is, in fact, how we have to make public policy and how we have to implement public policy.”

“There is an epidemic of traffic fatalities and it can’t go on,” de Blasio said, noting that traffic fatalities are the leading cause of injury-related death for NYC children and that the city’s plunging homicide rate — 333 murders last year — is closing in on the number of traffic fatalities, which last year’s preliminary data puts at 286 people.

“The families joining us today have turned their grief into action,” de Blasio continued. “We are standing with them and we’re starting immediately to make changes to protect our children, and to protect all New Yorkers.”

In tone and substance, today’s announcement marked a notable departure from the days when NYC DOT was the sole city agency taking traffic violence seriously. The interagency task force will convene over the next month before releasing a report with “concrete plans” to carry out de Blasio’s Vision Zero campaign promises, namely: Dedicating more NYPD resources to traffic enforcement, improving design and enforcement along 50 dangerous corridors and intersections annually, expanding the number of 20 mph zones, and formulating a legislative agenda that includes securing home rule over traffic enforcement cameras.

Read more…

13 Comments

Bratton: NYPD Will Devote “Intensive Focus” to Traffic Violence

At a press conference this afternoon for the ceremonial swearing in of Bill Bratton as police commissioner, Mayor Bill de Blasio took the microphone to express his administration’s commitment to its Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic fatalities within ten years. Bratton followed up with more remarks about how the department will prioritize street safety, saying NYPD will have an “intensive focus on traffic issues.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton talk about their commitment to traffic safety. Photo: NYC Mayor's Office

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton discussed their commitment to traffic safety this afternoon. Photo: NYC Mayor’s Office

The difference between Ray Kelly’s message of complacency couldn’t have been more stark.

Today’s remarks come a day after incoming Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg stopped on her way to de Blasio’s inauguration to speak with parents who lost children to traffic violence.

De Blasio said this afternoon that Trottenberg and Bratton will become “fast friends” as the administration pursues Vision Zero, its goal of eliminating traffic deaths within ten years.

Midway through the event this afternoon, de Blasio, unprompted by any reporter, jumped in to discuss traffic safety. Here are de Blasio’s comments, in full:

I just wanted to add one point. I really appreciate the fact that the commissioner is focused on some of the challenges we face when it comes to pedestrian fatalities and traffic fatalities. He’s a big believer in the vision in the direction that we’re going to take this city in, the Vision Zero concept. Gave a really fantastic speech just days before we made the final selection, I think it was at NYU, on that very topic.

And I had the honor of naming our new transportation commissioner, Polly Trottenberg, a few days ago, and I can tell you that Commissioner Trottenberg and Commissioner Bratton are going to become fast friends as they focus on –

“She already lassoed me to the ground last night,” Bratton interjected, to a smile from de Blasio, who continued:

See? She’s a forceful leader. And so there’s going to be a real focus on taking on that challenge. It’s not crime, necessarily. Some end up being considered criminal incidents, but others are not. But it is a huge public safety problem and an area where we’re going to focus a lot of energy.

Bratton then took the podium:

Mr. Mayor, just looking at the reports this morning, that we’ve had at the beginning of the year two homicides and we’ve also had two traffic fatalities. Last year, I think the figures were pretty close. I haven’t seen the end-of-year figures of the number of people whose lives are lost in traffic-related incidents. A life lost is a life lost. A family grieves. So that intensive focus on traffic issues is going to be one of the areas the mayor’s asked us to prioritize.

At the November traffic safety forum de Blasio referenced, Bratton told the audience, “More can be done in this critical area. The time for this issue has come.”

Read more…

10 Comments

Trottenberg Meets Parents of Traffic Violence Victims at Inauguration

Incoming transportation commissioner Polly Trottenberg, right, speaks with Amy Cohen, whose 12-year-old son was killed by a driver on Prospect Park West. Photo: Stephen Miller

Incoming Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, right, speaks with Amy Cohen, whose 12-year-old son was killed by a driver on Prospect Park West. Photo: Stephen Miller

A group of street safety advocates braved the cold yesterday outside Mayor Bill de Blasio’s inauguration and received an impromptu visit from Polly Trottenberg, de Blasio’s pick for transportation commissioner.

A total of about 15 people, organized by Make Queens Safer and Make Brooklyn Safer, gathered on Broadway outside City Hall yesterday, holding signs and handing out yellow “Vision Zero” stickers and pamphlets. The group held a large yellow banner aloft. It read, “Vision Zero Begins Today — Congratulations Mayor de Blasio.”

Incoming transportation commissioner Polly Trottenberg speaks with parents of traffic violence vicims before yesterday's inauguration. Photo: Stephen Miller

Photo: Stephen Miller

The big banner attracted Trottenberg’s attention. ”I saw you as I was walking across the street,” she told the group, adding that she hadn’t known about the demonstration and was on her way to the inauguration. Before heading to the ceremony, she stopped and spoke with the parents of traffic violence victims and advocates who asked her to put the campaign’s street safety promises into action.

Amy Cohen, whose 12-year-old son Sammy was killed by a driver on Prospect Park West, asked Trottenberg if the administration would prioritize automated traffic enforcement in its Albany agenda. (De Blasio’s campaign platform included a bid for local control of speed and red light cameras.) “We are ready to all go to Albany with you,” Cohen told Trottenberg. “We are here to do whatever it takes.”

Trottenberg didn’t offer specifics, but emphasized the administration’s commitment to street safety. “Working with the mayor’s office and his team that will be up in Albany, we’ll be having some input into shaping what his agenda’s going to be up there. He’s obviously got a lot of things he needs to get done in Albany, so I can’t tell you yet where this will fit in,” Trottenberg told Streetsblog. (De Blasio’s top priority in Albany is an income tax on the wealthy to fund universal pre-kindergarten.) “At the mayor’s announcement yesterday when he talked about transportation, Vision Zero was the first thing he mentioned. It is on the top of his agenda and mine,” Trottenberg said.

Read more…

33 Comments

NYC’s Next Transportation Commissioner Is Polly Trottenberg

Photo: Brookings

Bill de Blasio has appointed US DOT Under Secretary for Policy Polly Trottenberg to lead the New York City Department of Transportation. Trottenberg is a veteran federal policy maker, whose resume includes stints working for New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan on the 1998 federal transportation bill and for Senator Chuck Schumer.

At the Obama DOT, she’s been an architect of TIGER, the grant program that’s helped fill funding gaps for many multi-modal projects. She was also a proponent of giving official recognition to the progressive street design guidelines produced by the National Association of City Transportation Officials, which until recently was led by outgoing NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

Trottenberg’s policy credentials are top-notch, and advocates including Transportation Alternatives and the Straphangers Campaign greeted news of her appointment enthusiastically. The big question is how her deep experience at the federal level will translate to the rough and tumble of redesigning NYC streets.

There was one off-note at the presser today, when Trottenberg said DOT would be “more collaborative with local communities” on pedestrian plazas. (Could any DOT program be more collaborative than the plaza program?) But in most respects the message from the de Blasio team was one of continued progress on transit, bicycling, and walking.

In a statement, the de Blasio transition emphasized Trottenberg’s mandate to implement a robust Bus Rapid Transit network and improve street safety:

Polly Trottenberg, current Under Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation, will serve as the Transportation Commissioner, executing Mayor-Elect de Blasio’s ambitious agenda to expand Bus Rapid Transit in the outer boroughs, reduce traffic fatalities, increase bicycling, and boost the efficiency of city streets.

“One life lost on our streets is too many. We are committed to the maxim that safety — for everyone who uses the roads, including pedestrians and cyclists — is our top priority,” said incoming Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “From improving our roads, bridges and waterways to better serve our citizens and businesses, to connecting New Yorkers to jobs and opportunities through improved high-speed bus service, to expanding biking across the five boroughs, we can have a transportation system that is safe, efficient and accessible to all.”

When Trottenberg was first appointed to a top post alongside Ray LaHood at US DOT, advocates took it as a sign that the Obama administration was serious about transportation reform after all, since the LaHood pick was inscrutable on its own. In New York, her knowledge of the federal bureaucracy and funding landscape should be valuable (for starters, maybe she can place a phone call to fix this problem). But running an implementation agency like NYC DOT, which boils down in large part to the allocation of space, is a very different job than working the levers of federal policy, which is mainly about the allocation of money.

De Blasio has set ambitious goals for streets and transportation policy. Achieving them will be tough, and important decisions will inevitably come down to not just the DOT commissioner, but also deputy mayors and de Blasio himself. An early sign that his administration intends to stick to its transportation targets will be if the talented people who’ve risen through the ranks at NYC DOT during Sadik-Khan’s tenure stick with the agency under Trottenberg.

While this marks the end of Sadik-Khan’s remarkable leadership of NYC DOT, it hopefully represents a continuation of the spirit of innovation and determination that she brought to the job. Check here tomorrow morning for Streetsblog’s thoughts on Sadik-Khan’s legacy and accomplishments.

40 Comments

Pratt Center Suggests Eight Routes for Robust BRT — Is de Blasio Listening?

The Pratt Center is recommending eight BRT routes, primarily for outer-borough trips beyond the subway’s reach.

The Pratt Center is recommending eight BRT routes, primarily for trips beyond the subway’s reach. Image: Pratt Center

In 2008, a coalition led by the Pratt Center for Community Development laid out a vision for 12 Bus Rapid Transit lines across the city. Nearly six years later, NYC DOT and the MTA have installed six Select Bus Service routes in four boroughs, with plans for more. At a panel discussion this morning, the Pratt Center unveiled a new report [PDF] showing eight routes that are ripe for Bus Rapid Transit, featuring upgrades like separated busways and stations with fare gates and platform-level boarding.

During the mayoral campaign, Bill de Blasio promised to build a BRT network of more than 20 lines citywide. The big question is whether he’ll follow through after January and turn recommendations like the Pratt report into real policy.

“Select Bus Service is a breakthrough for our city,” said Joan Byron of the Pratt Center. But SBS routes, criticized as “BRT-lite” for relying on striped bus lanes instead of dedicated busways, can only do so much for riders making longer trips in the outer boroughs, she added. “What the neighborhoods that are outside of the reach of the subway need is to put the ‘rapid’ into Bus Rapid Transit.”

The report, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, identifies eight routes along corridors where 2.3 million people currently live within a half-mile. The routes are split into two phases: The first four are along wide rights-of-way with the capacity to host dedicated busways and stations, Byron said, while the final four are along trickier routes that could be easier to implement after the public judges the success of the first four.

The eight routes in the Pratt Center report are:

  • LaGuardia Airport to the Rockaways via Woodhaven Boulevard and Cross Bay Boulevard
  • Jamaica to Flushing via Main Street, continuing to Hunts Point in the Bronx via the Whitestone Bridge and Bruckner Boulevard
  • Conversion of a rail corridor on Staten Island’s North Shore to a multi-leg BRT route, currently in planning at the MTA
  • Sunset Park to JFK Airport via Linden Boulevard, connecting with a cluster of medical centers in central Brooklyn
  • Far Rockaway to Jamaica via Nassau Expressway and Rockaway Boulevard
  • Sunset Park to JFK Airport via Kings Highway and Flatlands Avenue
  • East Harlem to Co-Op City via a cluster of medical centers along Eastchester Road in East Bronx
  • Richmond Avenue in Staten Island to Manhattan via Jersey City and the Holland Tunnel

Byron said the Pratt Center focused on these routes because many outer borough neighborhoods are seeing population changes as low-income households are priced out of areas closer to Manhattan with better transit access. ”We’ve had population shifts that we’re just beginning to understand,” she said. ”When I was growing up, this was the land of Archie Bunker.”

Read more…

16 Comments

Bill Bratton Will Be the Police Chief Tasked With Implementing Vision Zero

Photo: Transportation Alternatives

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has selected Bill Bratton to serve as New York City’s next police commissioner. Bratton occupied the same post from 1994 to 1996 under the Giuliani administration and is credited with pioneering data-driven policing techniques. After Bratton left, one of the innovations his deputies introduced was TrafficStat, a system that tracked crash data, held precinct commanders accountable for street safety performance, and brought different agencies together to address problems.

De Blasio pledged during his campaign to adopt a “Vision Zero” strategy for street safety — setting out to eliminate traffic deaths in New York City. In 12 years of Ray Kelly’s leadership, NYPD street safety policy stagnated and regressed. Bratton will have to make some major changes to realize the Vision Zero goal.

TrafficStat meetings, once open to the public, have become closed-door sessions. Despite advances in information technology, NYPD has fought against making basic information available about where crashes are happening and what causes them. As firearm violence has declined, traffic deaths now outnumber murders by guns, but relatively few resources are devoted to enforcement on surface streets and crash investigations. When police do look into fatal or injurious crashes, the investigations are cursory and shielded from public view. Simply put, Ray Kelly’s NYPD did not take traffic violence seriously.

In remarks at today’s press conference announcing his appointment, Bratton acknowledged that traffic violence poses as grave a risk to New Yorkers as other types of crime. “This year, the number of people who will die on our streets will almost equal the number of people murdered,” he said. “This will require an expanding commitment. The mayor has committed to that going forward.”

At a forum organized by Transportation Alternatives last month, Bratton said “more can be done” in the “critical area” of traffic enforcement. While he said jaywalking enforcement was a useful tactic when he ran LAPD, he also said that “one of the great things about this city is that it is so much a walking city.”

Advocates are optimistic that Bratton will make the prevention of traffic deaths and injuries a higher priority than his predecessor. TA Executive Director Paul Steely White sent this statement:

To achieve his Vision Zero goal, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is smart to appoint Bill Bratton to lead the NYPD. Traffic deaths and serious injuries are epidemic in New York City, and the police department has a significant role to play in eliminating them. More New Yorkers are killed in traffic than murdered by guns. At a recent panel discussion presented by T.A. and NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, Bill Bratton demonstrated that he understands the urgent need to use data-driven traffic enforcement across the city to target reckless and deadly drivers and save lives.

For years now, NYC has been a national leader in re-engineering streets for greater safety, while Ray Kelly’s NYPD has lagged behind. Soon, it’s going to be Bill Bratton’s police department.