Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Bruce Schaller

Streetfilms: “We’re New York, We Can Lead”

Traffic Information & Relief Bill Press Conference 
Running time: 4 minutes 3 seconds

Transportation Alternatives held press conference on the steps of City Hall yesterday in support of Intro 199, a bill introduced in the City Council by Councilmember Gale Brewer that calls for better information-gathering about the city's traffic and aims to "reduce the proportion of driving to the central business districts and increase the proportion of walking, biking and the use of mass transit."

Mary Beth Kelly, widow of Dr. Carl Henry Nacht, who was killed by a truck when he was riding his bike on the West Side bike path, spoke strongly about the need for traffic policy that will address the intimidation of pedestrians and bicyclists by vehicles on the city's streets. She called for a goal of zero fatalities of cyclists struck by vehicles, the same goal that has been embraced by the city of Stockholm, Sweden. "Why should Stockholm lead?" asked Kelly. "We're New York, we can lead."

Meanwhile, after the council hearing on the legislation was over, Department of Transportation commissioner Iris Weinshall, who spoke against it as unnecessary, noted that DOT figures show a decrease in the number of vehicles entering Manhattan, from 978,487 in 2000 to 943,381 in 2005, and suggested that increased traffic chaos existed merely in the public imagination. "You have SUVs, you got these minivans. I think the cars are getting bigger and there is a perception there is more traffic," Weinshall was quoted as saying in Newsday. "We think it is still manageable."

But how can you manage what you don't know? Good management requires good data. As Bruce Schaller points out in his new study, Traffic Information in NYC (PDF) there is still a lot we don't know about how New York City's streets are being used, particularly when it comes to pedestrians, buses, bikes and other non-motorized activities.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Friday’s Headlines Take Me to the River

Politico reports that the Biden administration is investing $2.5 billion in updating aging Mississippi River locks and dams like this one in Iowa. Transporting freight by barge produces less emissions than trucks or even rail.

July 12, 2024

Friday Video: Take a Spin on Boston’s Electric Cargo Bike Share

Can't afford a $7,000 Urban Arrow cargo e-bike ? In Boston, you can now rent one for just a few bucks.

July 12, 2024

Talking Headways Podcast: Electrify the Rails

Adrianna Rizzo of Californians for Electric Rail on California's looming lobbyist-fueled hydrogen train mistake: "We’re locking in low service for potentially decades."

July 11, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines Drive Less

Seems obvious that the more people drive, the more likely they are to die in a crash or kill someone else, but traditional thinking on traffic safety doesn't always follow that logic, according to Planetizen.

July 11, 2024
See all posts