May 6th – Bringing 20 mph bill to Albany

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

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Every 30 hours, someone is killed in a car crash in NYC. Every 10 seconds, a New Yorker suffers a traffic related injury.  Five NYC children are hit by cars daily.

And every one of these victims has family and friends that have been forever affected.

Families For Safe Streets is a grassroots organization made up of family members of people killed or seriously injured on our streets. Only three months old, Families has already gained significant traction by telling their stories and focusing on the speed limit and speed cameras. This new group is speaking with unparalleled moral authority about the urgent need to change the culture of speed and death on our streets.

Bills in Albany have been introduced: State Senator Dilan’s bill # 6496, and Assembly Member O’Donnell’s bill #8478 would give NYC the right to set its limit as low as 20 mph.  Assembly Speaker Silver is sponsoring a bill to allow New York City a total of 160 life-saving speed cameras.

We have a great shot at getting both.  We can make our own magic happen, right here in NYC, but it will take work, and we need your help.

Families For Safe Streets and its supporters are planning a 

Day of Action
Tuesday , May 6, 2014 
Albany

The day will include a press conference on the steps of the Capitol, lobbying for more co-signers of the bills, and delivering a 20 mph coalition letter -attached- with thousands of signatures.

PLEASE join us on May 6 and BRING your friends. We will have buses leaving from Manhattan (near Grand Central) and Brooklyn (near Atlantic Center). Buses will return by 6 pm and I am told that there will be an earlier return bus as well for those that are bringing kids. Kids are welcome!

You can reserve seats for your friends and family, or buy extra tickets as a donation in support of the campaign for a 20 mph speed limit.

RSVP for Albany: http://tinyurl.com/kgtd2jp

20 mph petition: http://tinyurl.com/m4j54qc

Thanks.  I hope to see you on the bus.

20 MPH Coalition Letter_April 24 Final Version

Make Brooklyn Safer – April 2014 Update

Slow Zone Presentation – Monday May 5th

 CB3 Community Board Meeting More Details to Come

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Make Brooklyn Safer, along with organizer Right of Way helped set our own speed limits in neighborhoods where slow zones were requested by the community. March 15th/16th we created immediate slow zones in Ft. Greene, Bed-Stuy and Prospect Heights, as well as 8 other neighborhoods across the city.

These immediate slow zones were also protesting the rejection of a slow zone by Brooklyn Community Board 3, which represents Bed-Stuy. DOT is set to make a new presentation on TUESDAY APRIL 8, 6:30-7:30 PM at 1360 Fulton Street at CB3 District Office. COME BE COUNTED! CB3 Board Chair Tremaine Wright has invited and expects supporters at the presentation. Our support is necessary, as she says: “If you care about an issue, you have to show up and participate in the conversation,” Wright said. ”Maybe these people that care a lot can show up and say something.”

The full board will meet on Monday May 5th.

Saturday April 12th Kid’s Bike Swap 11am-1pm Douglass Greene Park – 3rd Ave btwn Douglass and DeGraw

THE GOWANUS GRIND continues til 4pm

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Donate old kids bikes that you are no longer using–we will fix them up and give them to another family. If you need another one “swap” it for a “new used” kids bike from those available. Hang around for bike games, “learn to ride” clinics, and other
bike-oriented fun at our Bike Rodeo.

BIKE SWAP suggested donation $15 – Allows you to bring your old kids bike in and get a new one from the bikes available.

BIKE PURCHASE suggested donation $25 – If you do not have a kids bike, this will get you a kids bike that is in working order, from the bikes available. Mechanics will be on hand to make sure that it is working and ready to go.

BIKE DONATION – Bring in your old kids bike, and we will give it some TLC and a new rider. Proceeds will fund PS261 PTA programs

BIKE SKILLS CLINICS – FREE- Adult volunteers and community organizations will be on hand to lead kids through a variety of fun bike games that teach basic and advance skills necessary for riding.

BIKE INFO – FREE – Community information, helmet fit check, maps, and introductions to street and city riding from NYC organizations that want to get you and your child outside, on a bike and having fun!

Local Safe Streets Campaigns with Transportation Alternatives
Art of the Bicycle with Bicycle Utopia
Women’s Empowerment through biking with WEBikeNYC
Fix-Your-Bike with BikeYard.org
20isPlenty Portraits with RightofWayNYC
Officers on Bikes from the Groundbreaking 78th Pct.
Bike Rodeo and Skills Clinic on Douglass Street (Closed to traffic)

Bike Rodeo and Skills Clinic on Douglass Street (Closed to traffic)

Learn to Ride – FREE 11 am – 1pm   
Trainers from Bike New York will teach children who are ready to ditch their
training wheels and ride a two-wheeler for the first time. Through a safe, easy,
effective method, Bike New York’s experienced instructors help parents teach
their kids how to balance, pedal, start, stop, and steer a bicycle. You must 
register in advance at www.bikenewyork.org

WANT TO VOLUNTEER? – we need your help! We only have the resources to swap out kids bikes. But the fun of being on a bike is ageless.

Come With Us to Albany on May 6th!

Are you ready to take your advocacy to the next level?

On May 6th, we’re joining Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets for a day of action in Albany. We’ll be traveling by bus from Brooklyn to Albany to lobby state elected officials to lower New York City’s speed limit to 20 mph.

Journeying to Albany to meet with legislators makes for a full but exhilarating day, especially when a successful outcome could literally save lives. Nothing is more powerful or effective than direct contact with Assemblymembers and State Senators. Click here for more information about the May 6th safe-streets lobbying trip, and to reserve your spot today.

Take Action to Lower the Citywide Speed Limit

Speeding is the #1 cause of fatal crashes in New York City, and we’ll never achieve Vision Zero if we don’t slow drivers down. That’s a major motivating factor behind our effort to establish a local Neighborhood Slow Zone. If we succeed, that’s great for Park Slope, but what about the rest of the city?

Fortunately, Transportation Alternatives has launched a campaign to lower the default citywide speed limit from 30 mph to 20 (city officials would be able to set a higher speed limit where appropriate). Changing New York City’s speed limit, however, requires the approval of the state legislature, something that won’t come easy. That’s why T.A. is asking each and every one of us to do our part by sending a message to our state representatives – and they’ve made it super easy to do exactly that. Just click here, complete the form (you can customize your message if you desire), and press send. It will take you less than a minute, and your action will go a long way toward saving lives.

20mph

 

Upcoming Events

Be sure to mark your calendar for the next Vision Zero Town Hall Meeting and/or Workshop in Brooklyn. You’ll have the opportunity to share your ideas, concerns and feedback with representatives from the Department of Transportation, NYPD, TLC and the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit.Upcoming April Events

The Best Way to Make Our Streets Safe is to Use Them

When I was a kid, the first true independent adventures I had, involved riding my bike.  Unfortunately, this simple means of independence is often completely unavailable to kids today. Making our streets safe enough for kids to ride (and walk!) by themselves is a main goal of Make Brooklyn Safer, and sometimes you just have to go out and have a really good time to do it!

We are having an afternoon of Bike Love and Love Your Streets on Saturday April 12th. This event will be part of the the 6th annual Gowanus Grind, but is mostly about finding the joy in biking; kids learning how if they don’t already know, the possibility of getting a new ‘used’ bike (while supplies last) and getting a helmet and skills to go along with it all.

RSVP and volunteer! https://www.facebook.com/events/256449651193568/

But we need your help.

We need kids bikes, in good condition (if possible) that you are no longer using or that no longer fit your kids. We will make these available to kids in our community, we will give them a helmet that fits, and we will teach them how to ride. All in one afternoon. We don’t have the capacity to swap out adult bikes.

Bring your bike to the swap, or contact Make Brooklyn Safer to arrange a drop-off or pick-up. MakeBrooklynSafer at gmail dot com. Spring is finally arriving; it is the best time to get back on your bike, or learn for the first time. Info below:

*PS261 KIDS BIKE SWAP at the GOWANUS GRIND *** BIKE RODEO***LEARN TO RIDE***SKATEBOARDING***MUSIC***ART***FOOD

*Saturday April 12th 11am-1pm THE GRIND continues til 4pm

*at Douglass Greene Park – 3rd Avenue between Douglass and DeGraw*

Donate old kids bikes that you are no longer using–we will fix them up and give them to another family.

If you need another one “swap” it for a “new used” kids bike from those available.

Hang around for bike games, “learn to ride” clinics, and other
bike-oriented fun at our Bike Rodeo.

BIKE SWAP suggested donation $15 – Allows you to bring your old kids bike in and get a new one from the bikes available.

BIKE PURCHASE suggested donation $25 – If you do not have a kids bike, this will get you a kids bike that is in working order, from the bikes available. Mechanics will be on hand to make sure that it is working and ready to go.

BIKE DONATION – Bring in your old kids bike, and we will give it some TLC and a new rider.

Proceeds will fund PS261 PTA programs

BIKE SKILLS CLINICS – FREE- Adult volunteers and community organizations will be on hand to lead kids through a variety of fun bike games that teach basic and advance skills necessary for riding.

BIKE INFO – FREE – Community information, helmet fit check, maps, and introductions to street and city riding from NYC organizations that want to get you and your child outside, on a bike and having fun!

Local Safe Streets Campaigns with Transportation Alternatives
Art of the Bicycle with Bicycle Utopia
Women’s Empowerment through biking with WEBikeNYC
Fix-Your-Bike with BikeYard.org
20isPlenty Portraits with RightofWayNYC
Officers on Bikes from the Groundbreaking 78th Pct.
Bike Rodeo and Skills Clinic on Douglass Street (Closed to traffic)

Learn to Ride – FREE 11 am – 1pm
Trainers from Bike New York will teach children who are ready to ditch their
training wheels and ride a two-wheeler for the first time. Through a safe, easy,
effective method, Bike New York’s experienced instructors help parents teach
their kids how to balance, pedal, start, stop, and steer a bicycle. You must
register in advance at www.bikenewyork.org

WANT TO VOLUNTEER? – we need your help! We only have the resources to swap out kids bikes. But the fun of being on a bike is ageless.

And now, please do one or more of the following:

-Share this info with your local listserves, friends, schools, parents, neighbors, buildings.GG6-POSTER
-You tweet about it; you post it to your Facebook page.
-Come! It should be a blast!
-Volunteer and earn my utmost respect and gratitude!-If so please email me to let me know.

Thanks in advance! Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

Simple Safety Tip – Don’t Wait to make it Safe

It seems simple enough. If you know how to fix a problem, you fix it. If that problem is deadly, you fix it quick. You don’t wait.

NYC Safe Streets Advocates followed this thinking on March 15th/March 16th push to fix the problem of speeding on our city’s residential streets. In support of Mayor DeBlasio’s Vision Zero Action Plan which calls for implementation of Neighborhood Slow Zones, activists from Right of Way and local communities generously gifted the city with volunteers and signs so that these Slow Zones can be created immediately.

In 10 Neighborhoods across the city, where the local communities had requested Slow Zones which are still not scheduled to be installed, volunteers created their own.  Hoisting signs and kids, neighbors and activists are showing the city we want these slow zones, that they are simple to install, and that they save lives.

ROW_M15_14 ROW_M15_34 ROW_M15_54 ROW_M15_61IMG_2447

 

Video of the Ft. Greene event, by Streetfilms  https://vimeo.com/89247219

Video from around the city by Right of Way  here.

When speeds are reduced, crashes are reduced. If there is a crash, with the car moving at 20mph, it is less likely to be fatal. Speed kills: If you are hit by a car traveling 40 mph, you are likely to die. If you are hit by a car traveling 20 mph, you are likely to live.

The current administration and DOT have already indicated, through Vision Zero, that the intent is to lower speeds across the city, and the activists support this. Unfortunately, this answer is not so simple. Our city speed limit, and the ability to lower it, enforce it automatically, and thereby reduce the fatality rate from speeding vehicles, is controlled by Albany, not the city. This means that the people who cannot imagine the thought of getting on a subway to go to work, taking a bus to their child’s school, or of simply walking to the corner to get groceries, are the people in control of how our city is run.

We will have to go to Albany to change this. Advocates are planning a day of lobbying in Albany on May 6th, and we need you to join us.

If you are the kind of person that sits back, and is ready to let other people push for the changes that you want to see, then we urge you to slow down in neighborhoods across the city, in yours, in ours, and in the neighborhoods that you are just passing through. Slow down and save a life.

But if you are the person that knows we have to fight for the change that we want to see, that we need to see, grab a sign, and join us. Make a statement. It is that simple.

Additional coverage:

http://benjaminheimshepard.blogspot.com

http://brooklyn.news12.com/news/20-is-plenty-speed-signs-posted-in-brooklyn-by-right-of-way-safety-group-1.7403953

http://verdantcities.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/20isplenty-in-queens/

 

The Power of the Positive

“Cold enough for you?”

The traffic cop that asked me this on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge had a look of anticipation on his face, what was exposed of his face at least. At first I was a bit annoyed, as he had been standing in the bike lane, so that I had to stop and I missed the light.

The temperature was about to break 16 degrees (F), but wind chill made it feel much worse. I asked him if he possibly did a little dance to stay warm sometimes, “You know,” I said, “also to keep the drivers entertained.” He told me no, but that it was a good idea. We kept chatting, he started to smile. I was certainly no longer annoyed.

I saw him the next day, and the day after that he started the conversation where we left off the last time. He was already smiling when I left as the light changed, with a “Have a good weekend!” shouted by both of us, at the same time. Jinx. Each time I see him now, he jumps aside, with a big smile on his face. Yesterday he even held a car back to let me through.

My thoughts for the past few days, and weeks even, have been on how positive I feel lately, as an advocate for Safer Streets. I am constantly reminded of the horrors, the unfair tragedies, the pain of survivors of traffic violence. Recently, however, I am reminded more of the positives, and I am focusing on these. Nothing helps me remember what I am fighting for more than a trip on our city streets, at human speed, and the interactions that result. I like to think that we can make these interactions positive; I believe we have that ability.

And right now is an amazing time to be an advocate for Safe, Livable and Complete Streets. Policies are changing, politicians and the press are speaking our language, and we live in a city that has already made, and is pushing for more changes that will make our streets safer. Vision Zero has the promise of top-down change.

But it also feels like it can stop at any moment, if we don’t keep fighting for it to happen.

“Sometimes it falls to citizens to bring local governments’ attention to pressing safety issues.

This was said by Conrad Lumm of RoadTrafficSigns.com, who has generously provided Right of Way with signs to allow us citizens to push our local governments. Come join us on March 15th in Jackson Heights, and Ft. Greene, and Prospect Heights, and Clinton Hill and UWS. And on March 16th in Astoria, and East Village, and West Village, and Jamaica and Greenpoint.

We will raise our voices, and raise our signs, in celebration  and support of lower speeds that will save lives. We will remind ourselves, and our neighbors that we want this, and we will fight for this.  Our actions show support for the government agencies that want to make these changes; our actions show our neighbors that the change starts with us.

Vision Zero Starts Today

Email us at MakeBrooklynSafer@gmail.com to help in Ft. Greene. Get in on the action. Get positive about the change you can make.

 

 

Make Brooklyn Safer – March 2014 Update

The last month has been packed with amazing events, this was the month of Vision Zero!

In January, at a press conference in Queens, Mayor De Blasio announced the formation of the Vision Zero task force to provide a detailed report with the result of literally reducing traffic deaths to zero in NYC.

January 26,  Make Brooklyn Safer was amongst the organizers of a Memorial for Ella Bandes, at the intersection where she was struck by an MTA bus in January 2013. The insanely pedestrian unfriendly intersection was the site of a very large crowd, with pointed remarks from electeds.

February 2, Right of Way and Make Brooklyn Safer gathered over 100 community members to demonstrate their support for lower speeds and Home Rule on NYC streets by holding replicas of the fake speed limit signs that Right of Way installed on Prospect Park West last November. Keep up to date with Make Brooklyn Safer using our Calendar

Taken by Dmitry Gudkov, Brooklyn unite in support of lower speeds on residential streets, and Home Rule for NYC.

Taken by Dmitry Gudkov, Brooklyn unites in support of lower speeds on residential streets, and Home Rule for NYC.

February 11, Make Brooklyn Safer has its monthly meeting in Ft. Greene, at the Lafayette Avenue Presby. Church. at 85 S. Oxford St. Our next meeting will be March 11th, 7PM.  Discussion will be of Vision Zero Action Plan, and current important campaigns. Keep up to date with Make Brooklyn Safer using our Calendar.

February 18, De Blasio presents a 63 point action plan, setting out the roles of each government agency that is tasked with producing safety on our streets. Among the points:

  • Redesign and focus on 50 dangerous intersections every year.
  • Reduce speed limits across the city, and provide enforcement to back it up. Work towards automated enforcement.
  • Create more slow-zones across the city
  • Develop borough-wide safety plans in close coordination with community boards, community organizations, and the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit
  • Conduct intensive street-level outreach and enforcement on safety problems and traffic laws, focused in areas with known crash histories
  • Launch a Vision Zero website to gather input from New Yorkers
  • Modify precinct-level traffic plans to increase focus on pedestrian safety
  • Educate and penalize T & LC drivers that drive recklessly, maim and/or kill.

February 23, Families for Safe Streets officially launches, with a press conference on the steps of City Hall. This is Transportation Alternative‘s newest committee, and represents families that have been impacted by traffic violence. This group of courageous survivors is asking for immediate implementation of Vision Zero Safety Actions. The Weekly Nabe writes that this group brings ‘the moral imperative” to the Mayor’s Plan. DNAinfo also covered the event.

February 24, City Council convenes a joint Public Safety and Transportation Committee hearing to discuss and pinpoint specifics in the Vision Zero Action Plan.

February 25, State Senator Brad Hoylman hosts the first Vision Zero Neighborhood Forum and Q & A, where representatives from the NYPD, DOT, Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, and TA and Chekpeds discussed the plan.

February 26, Make Brooklyn Safer speaks at the Public Safety Forum Sponsored by 57th District Leader Renee Collymore. Make Brooklyn Safer urged communities to take advantage of the opportunity to shape the Vision Zero agenda based on each neighborhood’s experience. Traffic Safety is Public Safety, and it affects everyone, drivers and pedestrians. Make Brooklyn Safer used maps from nyc.crashmappers.com to help the attendees visualize the high number of collisions on their neighborhood streets.

Collisionswith Injuries

IMPORTANT UPCOMING EVENTS

March 10th – Re-Imagining Jay Street RSVP Co-sponsors Council Member Stephen Levin, Community Board 2, Forest City Ratner, DUMBO BID and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

We all know it: Jay Street is a mess. Pedestrians, bicyclists, taxis and buses all compete for space on this chaotic, dangerous street. But we can improve it! This community planning meeting will give you a chance to imagine a better Jay Street, to mark the most dangerous local intersections on a map and most important, to make your voice heard by decision makers. – See more at: http://bikenyc.org/event/5843

March 11th – Make Brooklyn Safer Planning Meeting 7pm-Lafayette Avenue Presby. Church. at 85 S. Oxford St.  Discussion will be of Vision Zero Action Plan, and current important campaigns, including:

  • Support of the Slow Zone in Clinton Hill/Bed-Stuy, and what you can do.
  • The next 88th Precinct Community Council Meeting on March 18th. Keep up to date with Make Brooklyn Safer using our Calendar.
  • March 15th – Slow Zone Sign Raising
  • Ongoing Outreach Campaigns, and Photo Documenting our neighborhood streets.

March 15thSlow Zone Sign Raising

On the weekend of March 15, over 10 neighborhoods that have applied for slow zones will create their own! Join us!

The new administration has promised to rapidly expand the number of neighborhood slow zones in NYC. Dozens of neighborhoods have applied for slow zones and have either been rejected or are awaiting groundbreaking seemingly indefinitely. We encourage the administration to immediately reverse those rejections and begin groundbreaking on all requested neighborhood slow zones today. If for some reason the administration cannot do so before the weekend of March 15, over 10 neighborhoods who have applied for slow zones to help implement them themselves. Join this event to show your support for implementing these slow zones and, if they are not created, to join us on March 15th & 16th.

 

Make Brooklyn Safer Planning Meeting -TUESDAY FEB. 11th

We will be meeting on Tuesday February 11th, 7:00pm – 9:00pm.

We will meet at

Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church

85. South Oxford

Brooklyn, NY 11215

Please join us and tell a friend

THIS IS THE MEETING TO ATTEND!
Agenda Items:
1) Report on Jan. 88th Precinct Community Council Meeting, and next steps.
2) The 35th Councilmember sponsored, but postponed January 9th forum has been rescheduled for Feb. 26th, and will be in Crown Heights. Make Brooklyn Safer will be formatting a presentation at the beginning of the forum and we will need everyone’s help. 
Make Brooklyn Safer (MBS) Welcome and Presentation (10-15 minutes)
•             Why we are here
•             Goals for the evening
•             Basic Overview of Livable Streets, Traffic Violence
•             Vision Zero primer
3) Creation of a Make Brooklyn Safer Coloring Book
4) Outreach and Social Media

20′s Plenty Group Photo – 2/2/2014 – Grand Army Plaza Brooklyn

Taken by Dmitry Gudkov, Brooklyn unite in support of lower speeds on residential streets, and Home Rule for NYC.

Taken by Dmitry Gudkov, Brooklyn unites in support of lower speeds on residential streets, and Home Rule for NYC.

Join us for a gathering and photograph to demand homerule for NYC speed limits. We have 100 ’20 is Plenty’ signs for you to hold in support.Support 20 is Plenty, 20 MPH across NYC streets.

New bills in the NY State Assembly and the NY State Senate are pushing for NYC ‘Home Rule’ – allowing NYC to lower speed limits in NYC to 20 mph.

“Lower speeds save lives. When drivers aren’t speeding, they have more time to brake when something unexpected happens. Lower speeds mean that even when a driver or pedestrian makes a mistake, there is often time to avoid a crash and, if there is not enough time, the penalty is in most cases not death.

The science is clear: If a pedestrian is hit by a speeding driver traveling at New York City’s default speed limit of 30 mph, there is a 30% chance that person will die. That number goes up to 80% if the driver is going 40 mph, as too many motorists do. But at 20 mph—the speed limit we should have—there’s a 98 percent chance that same pedestrian will live.

Researchers have also uncovered a startling developmental fact: children under 15 are biologically incapable of accurately perceiving the speed of an oncoming car if it’s traveling faster than 20 mph. This fact is why we hear so often about children “darting” into traffic. Studies show that every 1 mph reduction of vehicle speeds on urban, pedestrian-heavy streets leads to a 6% decrease in traffic fatalities.

And New York City is home to the most pedestrian-dense streets in the country.”

Georges Jacquemart, P.E., AICP, – Principal at BFJ Planning and a professor of transportation planning at Pratt Institute