NYPD’s approach to these two types of data encapsulates Ray Kelly’s blind spot for traffic violence: The police are pleased to show people where they should take extra precautions to preserve their cars, but not where they need to advocate for greater protection from dangerous driving.

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.

My testimony to NYC’s Council on #SafeStreetsMap Bill

Code for America / BetaNYC testimony for INT NO 1163-2013 at Transportation Committee on 10 October 2013.

Good morning Chairman Vacca and Transportation Committee. It is a great honor to address you and represent New York City’s technology community. Particularly, a rather active group of technologists – the civic technologist.

I am Noel Hidalgo. I work for Code for America, co-founded BetaNYC, and am on the City’s .NYC advisory board.

Code for America envisions a government that works by the people, for the people, in the 21st Century.

BetaNYC is a Code for America brigade in New York City. Additionally, we are members of the New York City Transparency Working Group that got the best Open Data Law passed. Our City’s Open Data law.

Every week, my community gathers around tables and computers to build better interfaces for government. We are comprised of hackers, mappers, and yackers. We have a community programming night – “a hacknight” – at NYU Rudin where we explicitly explore bicycle related data. In general, we take the City’s open data and put it to good use.

With our NYU Rudin event, we are concerned about safe streets for everyone – pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. Because of poor, inconsistent, and non-existent crime and crash data creating tools to make safer streets is next to impossible.

As community members, we do not have the data to help citizens make smarter safety choices.

As City Council members, you do not have the data to know what is happening on the streets. Yet, the data exists!

In 2008, Washington DC challenged its civic technologists to start building apps on civic data. In its first year alone, 10 apps were created to build a safer DC. In 2009, NYC implemented BigApps – a program challenging its civic technologists to build apps on civic data. BigApps has gone through four iterations and fostered New York City to be New TECH City. Yet, because of NYC’s poor public safety data, we have not had the opportunity to build tools to make better and safer decisions.

I should point out that Ontodia/Pediacities, a winning BigApps team is here with us.

New York City needs your help. Because of NYC’s poor public safety data, we can not build tools for community boards to have insight into their communities. Because of NYC’s poor public safety data, we can not build tools to have immediate insight into crimes and crashes in your City Council districts.

Two weeks ago, when the Mayor’s office produced its “Open Data Plan,” NYPD did not include raw crime nor crash data. Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, Baltimore, and our nation’s capital, Washington DC, produce open, detailed, and frequent crime and crash data for developers to integrate into their tools and generate insight.

We call on the council to amend this bill to cover crime AND crash data. Additionally, this bill needs to be amended to move away from legislating a user interface (a map) and focus on the raw and fundamental data. We need crime and crash data geolocated and published in a daily, disaggregated basis. The raw data needs to be openly available and frequently updated.

We need this data to build a city by the people, for the people, and for the 21st Century.

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.