Mayor de Blasio's ambitious "Vision Zero" plan to eliminate all traffic fatalities got a much-needed financial push today—the program will be awarded $25 million worth of federal funds that will help support pedestrian safety measures near city schools and at dangerous intersections.
According to Senator Chuck Schumer's office, the funding will go towards 13 safety projects in areas that have been pinpointed as "high-risk"; the $25 million comes to the city courtesy of the U.S. Department of Transportation, which bestowed the funds upon us as part of the agency's TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant program.
The following pedestrian locations will benefit from the funding, according to the Mayor's office:
P.S. 154 Harriet Tubman School in Harlem
P.S. 54 Woodhaven, Queens
P.S. 239 Ridgewood, Queens
P.S. 199 Maurice Fitzgerald School in Long Island City, Queens
P.S. 92 Harry T. Stewart in Corona, Queens
P.S. 13 Clement C. Moore in Flushing, Queens
Our Lady's Catholic Academy in South Ozone Park, Queens
Our Lady's Queen of Peace School in New Dorp, Staten Island
Harlem Station (Metro North)
4th Avenue in Brooklyn (north section between 8th and 18th streets)
4th Avenue in Brooklyn (south section between 33rd and 52nd)
Funds will also cover two sections of bike paths on the Brooklyn Greenway:
Brooklyn Greenway - Gowanus
Brooklyn Greenway - Owl's Head (Bay Ridge)
"This investment will save lives," de Blasio said in a statement today. "It means better designed streets and targeted initiatives that will help us change behaviors like speeding and failure to yield to pedestrians."
The Mayor's office has attempted to take on a number of safety initiatives this year as part of Vision Zero, including intermittent traffic crackdown periods, a host of legislation aimed at strengthening traffic and criminal laws for drivers, and public safety workshops.
Still, the city's seen a total of 165 traffic fatalities this year alone, according to WNYC's fatality tracker, including 80 pedestrian deaths and 13 cyclist deaths—a total of 8 children have been killed by drivers so far this year.