DC37 members help reduce NYC traffic deaths

Mayor Bill de Blasio (center) with elected officials and Dept. of Transportation workers in the NYPD Fleet Services Division at Woodside, Queens, on Monday, Jan. 8. Photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

By MIKE LEE

The city’s streets are becoming safer as a result of a plan to reduce traffic-related fatalities implemented by Mayor Bill de Blasio four years ago.

With a 32 percent drop in pedestrian fatalities, 2017 marked the fourth consecutive year of declining traffic deaths in New York City, a success that counters the national trend and is a testament to the efforts of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero campaign, aided in strong measure by our city Dept. of Transportation workers—members of DC 37.

Locals 376, 983, 1157, 1455 and 1506 represent hundreds of DOT employees who work tirelessly to implement and maintain the city’s road infrastructure and are a vital part of Vision Zero’s success.

At a recent event marking the progress of the program, the Mayor declared: “Vision Zero is working. The lower speed limit, increased enforcement and safer street designs are all building on each other to keep New Yorkers safe. Now we must deepen this work. Not even a single tragedy on our streets is acceptable, and we’ll keep fighting every day to protect our people.”

Among Vision Zero’s accomplishments:

  • The fewest-ever fatalities in Queens, thanks in part to strong enforcement by NYC Traffic Officers, who issued more than 50.000 summonses to drivers who did not yield to pedestrians and cyclists;
  • Safety improvements to the City fleet vehicles
  • Doubling the number street safety engineering projects in the city since 2013;
  • Adjusting traffic signal timing and redesigning certain streets, such as Queens Boulevard, once known as “the Boulevard of Death” because of the number of fatal road accidents there. It has marked its third year without a single pedestrian or cyclist fatality.

“One fatality is one too many, but as a supporter of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero, it is encouraging to see how the plan has been successful in reducing, for the fourth consecutive year, the number of traffic-related deaths on our roads and streets,” said New York state Senator Jose Peralta.

“We are very proud of our DC 37 Dept. of Transportation members for their tireless work in helping implement the Vision Zero program,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “They have ensured that our streets are safer.”

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