Getting to see all of the new, cool bike facilities in New York was one of my highlights during my time there this past summer. Another highlight was getting in contact with one of the best advocacy groups in the country, Transportation Alternatives, and see how their voice has changed the culture of the city. The NYCDOT has been working with T.A. to survey the results of the new facilities and their astonishing results.
Collisions occur on corridors; is a major finding in the DOT's recently released New York City Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan. It was also a bit of vindication for Transportation Alternatives. For years, they've called out the composite danger of major corridors as a cause of crashes.
Since 1999, T.A. has been focused on correcting one of the city's most deadly corridors, and with the DOT's conclusion, they have renewed vigor for our longstanding Zero on Queens Boulevard campaign.
Yesterday, volunteers from T.A.'s Queens Committee donned their business best to clock conversations with senators, assembly members and other officials on an inaugural Queens Boulevard lobbying day. Monthly bike pools have been guiding commuters safely home along the corridor since 2008 and lately, a series of walks have brought together elected officials and advocates to observe the present danger.
But despite all those hard strode miles of leafleting and lobbying, on a heat map of crashes in New York City, Queens Boulevard remains a replica of Mount Vesuvius.
With the DOT's Street Design Manual as a vocabulary, inaction has become an unacceptable word. The City has the tools to staunch Queens Boulevard's towering death toll; the City only needs the political will to replicate designs that have already corrected some of New York's most treacherous avenues.
In 2011, T.A. will be asking elected officials whose districts include the Boulevard to help herald the call for Vision Zero: zero deaths, zero injuries and zero fear of traffic on Queen’s most deadly, injurious and terrifying boulevard. Queensite or no, winning those changes will affect us all, because if they can fix Queens Boulevard, there is no street that can't be corrected.