Vision Zero safety projects would suffer funding cuts under President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Monday.
In addition to funds for major mass transit projects like a Second Avenue subway expansion, Trump’s budget proposal would also have negative implications for smaller street projects that protect pedestrians, like a sidewalk widening near a school, which rely on funding through similar federal programs.
“Everything we’re doing is to protect life, but, meanwhile, everything we’re doing is being threatened by the news we received last week from Washington,” said de Blasio at a Vision Zero news conference on Tuesday. “President Trump, who ran on a platform of fixing infrastructure is literally going to take money away from infrastructure work and away from public safety.”
The city has received about $100 million in federal funding for Vision Zero projects in the past three years through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s programs like New Starts and TIGER grants. Under Trump’s budget cuts, New Starts would be dramatically reduced and the TIGER grants program would be cut completely.
For context, there’s $400 million in Vision Zero spending allocated over six years in the city’s 2018 budget draft. Federal support helps the city build a variety of those projects, like new pedestrian islands, which reduce the time pedestrians spend crossing through vehicular traffic, or more complete street redesigns like Queens Boulevard.
“These are huge potential projects and a huge potential loss to New York City,” said de Blasio, who vowed to fight the cuts. “That’s why we’re taking this so serious.”