A snarky report card by a safe-streets group criticized the head of the MTA as a “Johnny Come Lately,”
and ripped the Taxi and Limousine Commission board as a group of “Hazardous Hacks” as new stats showed a nearly 10% drop in traffic deaths this year.
The Transportation Alternatives analysis said the MTA is only “sort of” advancing Vision Zero, and gave chairman Thomas Prendergast the snide title because the group said it was late getting involved in the plan’s Task Force.
It also christened MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg as “radio silence” for not speaking out on how the Right of Way law saves lives. The law, passed in the first year of Vision Zero, leads to the arrest of drivers when pedestrians are struck in crosswalks.
The MTA said their goal has always has been zero fatalities and serious injuries, long before New Yorkers heard about Vision Zero.
“Historically, our safety efforts have reduced crashes per million miles by as much as 46% since 1988,” said spokesman Kevin Ortiz. “Vision Zero is a natural continuation of our overall safety strategy reflects our commitment to continual improvements of our safety performance.”
John Samuelsen, head of the bus drivers’ union Transport Workers Union Local 100, said he would flunk the Vision Zero law. Eight bus operators have been arrested for fatal crashes. “They failed to give the law an ‘F’ for causing the arrest of hard-working men and women who engaged in no recklessness whatsoever,” he said. “That’s an absolute failure.”
The report card is the first of what Transportation Alternatives says will be performance reviews every six months for Vision Zero. “No city in the world has reached Vision Zero,” said executive director Paul Steely White in the report. “I plan for New York to be the first.”
The analysis also said that reckless cabbies are not being held accountable. Nine people have been killed by hacks licensed by the TLC this year.
“It seems like there’s more missing than represented here,” said TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg. “”For example, it’s incredibly unfortunate that the report chose not to single out the crucial work of TLC staffers who’ve already met one-on-one with drivers at over 150 bases to share safety techniques and answer questions about Vision Zero and its goals. It also leaves out the creation of the TLC’s new Safety Squad, which uses high-tech radar guns to catch speeding TLC licensees.”
Transportation Alternatives gave City Hall an A- on its Vision Zero efforts, calling de Blasio both a “Vision Zero hero” and a “streetscape cheapskate.”
City Hall said that that traffic fatalities have gone down from 140 fatalities at this point last year to 127 in 2015.
“Vision Zero works. Last year was the safest year for pedestrians since the city began keeping records in 1910. And this year, we are on pace to break that record again,” said Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for the mayor’s office.
DOT commissioner Polly Trottenberg, meanwhile, was praised as the “Safety Queen,” but her executive director of engineering was knocked as “sir stalls-a-lot” on speed cameras.
The NYPD got the mediocre ranking of C+. The group praised the department for more enforcement on reckless drivers, but said precincts are inconsistent citywide.