In 48 hours, Bill de Blasio will finally become Mayor Bill de Blasio, ending months of speculation about what life outside the protective Bloomberg bubble will entail—will crime really surge? Will socialism really rein? And will Vision Zero, a Swedish initiative that strives to not just reduce, but eliminate traffic deaths altogether, actually become a reality?
De Blasio made Vision Zero an integral part of his transit platform, and now, the advocacy group Right of Way is preparing to hold him to his word with the debut of a Vision Zero Clock. Every time a pedestrian, cyclist, driver or passenger is killed in 2014, the clock will automatically update, and Right of Way will launch a Twitter campaign to remind the fledgling mayor of his promise to eliminate traffic deaths by 2024.
“Achieving Vision Zero by 2024 demands decisive action starting on Day 1,” Keegan Stephan, an organizer with Right of Way, said in a statement. “There will obviously be many competing interests for de Blasio’s attention when he takes office, but with people of all ages being killed in traffic across the 5 boroughs nearly every single day, Vision Zero must remain a top priority."
Park Slope residents have already rallied behind Vision Zero, organizing to push for a lower speed limit following the death of 12-year-old Sammy Cohen Eckstein, who was killed last month on Prospect Park West after the driver of a van failed to see him chasing his soccer ball into the road.