Why is it not surprising that Southeast Queens (Community Board 12, 13) and some other areas, mostly of color, are way behind with Vision Zero and it’s implementation and enforcement of laws. Community Board 4, which covers Elmhurst & Corona, is where a mother and her children were seriously injured recently when they were hit by a cement truck on a residential street when school was letting out (http://jacksonheightspost.com/2-children-adult-injured-after-being-struck-by-cement-truck-in-corona/).
Southeast Queens, including Jamaica, has a major problem of illegal parking of overnight tractor trailer trucks and an even bigger problem of large trucks using residential streets as shortcuts, while for the most part, a lack of enforcement has been weak (exception, my street of 170th, which I have been documenting for over a year and have been filing hundreds and hundreds of complaints has seen a major drop-off, but this is just one street of many residential streets that trucks use).
Plenty of blame to go around from the horrible city agency, Department of Transportation (DOT), which cannot even fix a fucking pot hole right) to our Mayor, Queens Borough President and of course our local community elected officials who are not doing their jobs representing their communities properly.
Notice that such areas as Forest Hills and Long Island City are not part of the “weak” Vision Zero implementation areas, but yet Astoria is, which also has a major truck issue is. Again, much blame goes to elected officials of those areas who are the first line of defense.
So no doubt that Vision Zero has been another failed NYC government program, which sounded good on paper, but as usual is not being properly implemented along with a lack of proper enforcement. Maybe it is time for DOT to bring back their truck enforcement unit in Queens as opposed to allowing this to fall on already overburdened precincts like the 103rd in Jamaica. But wait, that would make sense.
Yes, government has not only gotten so big full of wasteful spending, but as it gets bigger, it becomes less and less effective and NYC is a perfect example with wasted positions such as Borough Presidents and the Public Advocate office, both which have been stripped years ago of power and are mostly just for show, but wastes major amounts of tax payers money and showing ZERO results, pretty much like VISION ZERO.
In the meantime local leaders like Ruben Wills are wasting time on gang violent bills which include long term studies on a problem we already know the answer to and of course the prerequisite street naming ceremony photo ops and other useless bullshit. Real problems, forget about it, that would take actual work and commitment by these fools.
Look at the size of this truck driving illegally on 170th
The only way an 18-wheel tractor trailer was able to make a wide turn from Liberty Avenue onto 170th Street was by jumping its rear wheels onto the sidewalk, coming within a few feet of a reporter, who was almost too startled to be able to take this photograph in time. Source : Louis Flores
A dump truck was driven on 170th Street during Progress Queens’ inspection tour of commercial traffic in Jamaica, Queens. Source : Louis Flores
From Queens Times Ledger:
Queens lags behind on Vision Zero stats
Make Queens Safer, a grassroots street-safety advocacy organization, contends Queens is falling behind the other boroughs in reducing traffic injuries and fatalities over the past year.
The group’s statistical analysis of Queens’ progress in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature traffic safety project Vision Zero finds that the borough is struggling with traffic enforcement and motorist injuries, according to a report released this week.
Queens has faced a 2.3 percent uptick in injuries to motorists and passengers since 2013 and is now the only borough where injuries to drivers and passengers exceed 2013 levels, when Vision Zero began, the report said. Throughout the rest of the city injuries to motor vehicle occupants are down, declining by 7 percent in Brooklyn and in 16 percent in Manhattan. Queens also had a 9% increase in cyclist injuries compared to 2013.
“In five districts (Community Boards 1, 4, 7, 12 and 13), implementation of Vision Zero has been particularly weak and action to jump-start street safety improvements is most urgently needed,” the report said.
Compounding the problem, several Queens neighborhoods are seeing significantly fewer traffic tickets written for these violations by their local police precincts relative to 2013 levels, the advocacy group said. The biggest declines occurred in the 109th and 110th precincts, where ticketing was down by more than 30 percent, with the most significant drops in tickets for cell-phone use.
As part of the Vision Zero effort, NYPD received resources to hire additional traffic safety officers.
“Based on the statistics presented here, there is little evidence that these greater workforce numbers are translating into greater enforcement on the ground. NYPD should provide an accounting of how it is using its Vision Zero budget allocations,” the report said.
Yet the report had some bright spots.
Since November 2014, there have been 69 overall traffic fatalities in Queens, down 26 percent from the 93 people killed in 2013, the Vision Zero benchmark year. Citywide, there has been a 21 percent decline in fatalities. The downward trend points to the modest success of Vision Zero’s second year. But in Queens there were nine traffic fatalities during this November alone.
Some of the stars of the report included the 104th, 107th, 108th and 112th precincts, which were commended for reducing traffic injuries and increasing enforcement.
In October, Vision Zero came to the 104th Precinct. The city Department of Transportation, along with the officers of the 104th Precinct, conducted an educational and enforcement initiative. In the second week of the initiative, the precinct focused on enforcement, targeting hazardous violations such as speeding, improper turns and texting while driving.
The report ended inconclusively:
“This analysis clearly raises more questions than it answers. It does not explain why injury or fatality rates are rising or falling in specific areas, or why enforcement patterns appear to be changing in certain ways.”