Heard Around Town: Vision Zero Goes to Queens

On Wednesday night, City Council Members, Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and others held a Town Hall in Queens to discuss Vision Zero, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to reduce traffic casualties in New York City. After a two-minute introduction by each panel member, the floor was opened to 1-minute comments from the audience.  Queens Borough President Melinda Katz was noticeably absent, but she did have a representative from her office attend. In their testimony, community members often noted streets that had become virtual expressways, such as Queens Boulevard.  The idea of “arterial slow-zones” seemed to be embraced by both the community and elected officials, including Trottenberg. The third such zone was just declared in Greenpoint, and is set to go into effect next month. It will limit speeds to 25 miles per hour. Trottenberg’s presence at the meeting also meant that audience members had a chance to air their grievances with DOT over the years. Trottenberg, who was sworn in on January 27th of this year, reminded the audience that she was a newly appointed Commissioner. An argument erupted at one point during the meeting, when a community member said that pedestrians should take on a larger share of responsibility for traffic accidents. “Pedestrians have the right of way!” shouted one audience member in protest, and others testified that children especially could not be held on terms of equal accountability with a speeding truck.

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Filed under Queens, Traffic, Vision Zero

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