Bloomberg Touches on Safe Streets, Pricing in State of the City

bloomberg.jpgMayor Bloomberg delivered his seventh State of the City Address yesterday morning at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The speech had several nuggets of news and info related to livable streets issues.

Touting the good news from 2007, the Mayor noted that New York City’s streets are getting safer:

In 2007, we made the safest big city in the nation safer than it has been in generations. The fewest traffic deaths in nearly a century. Historic lows in jail violence. Historic lows in fire fatalities. And the fewest homicides recorded in modern history. This is New York City today.

And, in a roundabout admission that more can be done to improve safety, Bloomberg mentioned a new initiative aimed at making the city more livable for senior citizens (like his own 99-year-old mom), taking a page from Transportation Alternatives’ Safe Routes for Seniors program:

Today I’m announcing a major effort called ‘The All Ages Project.’ In collaboration with the City Council and the New York Academy of Medicine, this project will completely re-envision what it means to grow old in New York… For instance: How can we ensure that more seniors are cared for in their own homes, rather than in institutions? And how do we make our city easier to get around in? Next month, we will begin to address that second challenge with traffic engineering improvements at 25 high-accident areas which are especially problematic for seniors.

He wrapped up with a lengthy push for PlaNYC initiatives, including a brief pitch for congestion pricing:

With the State’s blessing, we’ll also use technology to create a system of congestion pricing — something no other American city has done. It will help us achieve four critical, inter-connected goals: reducing traffic congestion; raising money for mass transit; improving our air quality; and fighting climate change.

  • I laud Bloomberg’s shift toward more transit friendly policies over the past 18 months . . . but his profligacy with tax rebates has to be addressed.

    Knowing full well the city’s fiscal situation would be worsening, he gave out a large discretionary tax refund this year. This year, he still plans to give out $400/per property owner despite the looming deficit.

    This is unacceptable pandering.

  • Hilary

    Although the rebate can be thought of as an economic stimulus, since the small distributions are apt to be pumped back into the local economy. I lived in Japan when the government did the same thing. The Japanese, however, tended to save their rebates, defeating the purpose..

  • impressive the fewest traffic deaths in nearly a century! Bloomberg is responsible for making nyc that much safer…quit a guy!

  • Dan

    Probably not. Seeing as how the tax rebates go to home owners, not you know, everyone. If you can afford to own a home the city will reward you with $400. Renters get a poke in the eye. I’m pretty sure that rewarding home owners at the expense of everyone else is in fact really terrible policy.

    If you wanted to stimulate local economies you’d give poorer people the money since they’re likely to spend it quickly and on local goods and services.

  • Hilary

    Dan is right. I was thinking of the amount (relatively paltry sums widely scattered) rather than the target, and trying to put a good face on a poor policy. Thanks for pointing it out.


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