For nearly two decades, every rising barrier and reduced speed limit has been tailored to this seemingly impossible goal, of eradicating traffic deaths and serious injuries, and its guiding premise: Every inch of street space must anticipate, and accommodate, human error.
Although traffic fatalities have been on the decline overall, they are almost intersecting with the city’s homicide rate. As of the end of September, there were 203 traffic fatalities in the five boroughs – just 39 fewer than the number of murders in the same period.
We have modified Banksy’s ‘Protester’ to show that the stereotypical violent protester is often an undercover cop,” said Keegan Stephan, organizer with Right of Way. “And we have expanded that message to show that the NYPD facilitates many types of violence. Here, we are highlighting their participation in traffic violence. Off-duty cops are driving drunk and killing New Yorkers; undercover cops are riding with motorcycle gangs that speed, ride recklessly, and worse; and on-duty cops almost always declare deadly drivers faultless and instead blame their victims. We need a wholesale shift in the NYPD’s attitude toward violence.
I despise it when someone refers to me as a ‘cyclist’. The phrase ‘avid cyclist’ is even worse. I am no more an avid cyclist than I am an avid walker or avid eater. I am someone who often uses a bicycle, simply because it is the most civilized, efficient, enjoyable, and economical way to get around my city. Though that is dependent on the weather, cargo, timing, and nature of the trip I am taking. As well as possessing a bike, I also own a share in the Modo car co-op, a Compass Card, and many pairs of shoes. The bicycle is merely a means to an end. It is a tool which does not convert me into a cyclist, any more than vacuuming my apartment turns me into a janitor, or brushing my teeth transforms me into a dental hygienist.
Cyclists exist in a political and physical space that has been largely ignored,” said StreetsPAC board member Steve Vaccaro. “StreetsPAC aimed to make them a political force, as part of a broader livable streets movement, by reaching out to them where they are found — at bridge plazas, meetup spots like Grant’s Tomb, parked on the street, via text and in the #bikenyc Twitter feed. We had significant success with this novel physical-virtual grassroots organizing approach, and look forward to building on it.
Ultimately people can’t get around conveniently because they are far away from everything.” And it is this observation that for me epitomizes the problem of the driverless car — it’s the worst kind of solutionism. By becoming so enamored with how technology might transform the car, we’ve neglected to adequately explore how getting rid of cars might transform how and where we live. We’d do well to heed [André Gorz]’s exhortation to “never make transportation an issue by itself.