Vision Zero needs to focus on buses
Nov 11, 2015 | 11515 views | 0 0 comments | 319 319 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week, three pedestrians were killed by buses in New York City, including two in Queens, a borough reliant on buses as public transportation. The utilization of buses, especially in transit-starved communities, isn't going to decrease anytime soon, so New York City needs to turn an eye on fixing a broken system before more people are seriously hurt or killed.

The deaths of three pedestrians simply trying to cross a busy street should not be in vain. What the city needs is a full review of the busing system, including routes, times and frequency. The review needs to be open, transparent and include community input.

Ask any New York City resident and they'll probably give you an intersection they avoid, thanks to traffic and safety concerns from buses. Sometimes, it seems like our roads weren't even meant to accommodate the buses. At the intersection of Forest Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue, if you stop an inch over the line, buses can't make the turn and it backs up every road for miles. All of downtown Flushing is basically un-drivable with the combination of buses and pedestrians.

You can't simply eliminate buses from the streets; for many commuters it's the most effective way of getting around. But you can at least try to make the roads a little bit safer for pedestrians.

The goal of the de Blasio administration is to reduce pedestrian fatalities to zero and they have made strong headway so far in targeting drivers with their Vision Zero campaign. But now they need to turn an eye to the infrastructure they're responsible for, because it's just as much at fault.

The meetings should start at the community board level, where residents, the ones who spend every day walking or driving the roads, point out problem areas. From there, a full review of the system can take place.

If it means one less pedestrian killed while walking home from the grocery store or heading to the bank, then it's worth it.
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