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Vision Zero to update traffic signals at 300 intersections, Mayor de Blasio says

During the first few weeks of 2019, the city saw seven more traffic-related deaths than in the same period last year.

Maureen Landers, of Brooklyn, left, was hit by

Maureen Landers, of Brooklyn, left, was hit by a car 2009 and her son was hit by a car last March. She is joined by Mayor Bill de Blasio at a Vision Zero press conference on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Marisol Diaz-Gordon

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday plans to expand his Vision Zero program to include more initiatives, education, crackdowns on speeding and a renewed focus on accident-prone locations throughout the city.

Although traffic-related fatalities have been on the decline for years, de Blasio said during the first weeks of 2019 the city saw seven more deaths than during the same period last year. Data from the Department of Transportation also identified seven percent of city streets as the locations of  about half of pedestrian fatalities between 2012 and 2016.

In response to the new data, the city will target 300 intersections across the city and update traffic signals there by the end of the year to allow for longer pedestrian crossing times, according to the mayor. 

"We know the things that work, we've seen it," he said. "The bottom line is that every time we find something that works we want to apply it at more and more places in the five boroughs."

 The targeted sections include Columbus Avenue from 9th Avenue to Morningside Drive in Manhattan, 21st Street from 50th Avenue to 20th Avenue in Queens, Linden  Boulevard from Flatbush Avenue to Sapphire Street in Brooklyn, Soundview Avenue from White Plains Road to Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx and Lincoln Avenue from Richmond Road to Father Capodanno Boulevard in Staten Island.

De Blasio said there will be more enforcement at locations across the city for traffic violations, including speeding and failure to yield.

“I’m a huge believer in enforcement,” he said. "One point is to find any place that needs more enforcement and double down on enforcement.”

The mayor said he practiced what he preached Saturday during a trip to Albany. While his car was on the FDR Drive, de Blasio said, he noticed a driver looking at her phone while stopped at an intersection. He promptly told his detail to pull her over and "give her some on-the-spot education." The mayor did not have any follow-up as to what happened with the motorist. 

"Whenever I see something illegal out of the car, I alert my detail to it,” he said. 

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