BlogA Vision Zero Plan For Rochester

May 20, 20206
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In the past few months alone, our community has seen too many tragic traffic-related deaths and injuries, and the time has long since come to do something about it. If we are going to build a vibrant and active community we need to make sure our streets are safe for everyone, regardless of their mode of transportation. That is why I am calling for the Rochester community to implement a Vision Zero plan, and pledge to be a leader on the issue as a member of the NYS Assembly.

Vision Zero is “a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.” We need a comprehensive and effective plan that will help make Rochester’s streets safer and more vibrant. The strategy must be created on the local level, and will require significant collaboration among a variety of stakeholders.

As your Assemblymember, I will take immediate action to convene policymakers, transportation advocates, community members, law enforcement, and public health officials. This working group will engage with the community to explore solutions and policies to build safer streets in our community. This is too important an issue to wait any longer – we need our leaders to lead, and put the health and safety of our residents first.

Here are some proposals that I believe must be included in a Rochester Vision Zero plan:

  • Lower residential speed limits in the city of Rochester to 25 miles per hour. The difference in health outcomes between crashes at 30 miles per hour versus 25 miles per hour is stark. Cars do not need to be speeding through neighborhoods where our children live. I will protect our neighborhoods by working with the City of Rochester and stakeholders to lower the speed limit in residential areas.
  • Identify opportunities to lower speed limits in suburban residential areas. I will convene experts in urban planning and traffic management to determine where it is feasible to lower speed limits in suburban neighborhoods, and will lead the charge to make it happen in the legislature.
  • Secure place-based investment to improve pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. The built environment has a huge impact on the safety of residents as they move about our community, and I am committed to securing increased funding for shared mobility. If we build a safer environment, we will get better outcomes, period.
  • Improve crosswalks and danger points in the community through supporting Complete Streets Makeovers. There are simple fixes that can improve pedestrian safety without major investment. Reconnect Rochester has led the way in our community through its local program, which has been a major success in areas like Beechwood in the city of Rochester. As an Assemblymember, I will support the expansion of this program, which allows the community to build safer streets that fit into the character and feel of the neighborhood – increasing safety and creating vibrant public spaces.
  • Create ongoing engagement with community-based stakeholders like Reconnect Rochester. I will continue to work with these organizations throughout my time in the Assembly. I am committed to an ongoing discussion – there are always improvements that can be made, and we need to keep striving for improvement.

 

6 comments

  • Patricia Coleman

    May 21, 2020 at 4:42 am

    Unfortunately I believe there are much more important issues Rochester needs to deal with than traffic. Our schools need help. Our economy is bad, the City needs Federal financial help, especially since the virus has taken so much money. Our violent crime rate is up. Yet your only platform is traffic. You certainly won’t get my vote if you are only interested in that.

    Reply

    • Eitan Sirkovich

      May 21, 2020 at 1:57 pm

      Hi Patricia. Pedestrian safety and eliminating preventable motor vehicle tragedies is important to our campaign, but it is certainly not the only platform we are running on. We care deeply about a total reset of the Rochester City School District and fighting for Rochester’s fair share of jobs and investment. You can check out the rest of the website to learn more about where our campaign stands on these issues. You can check out our plan for improving education here: https://www.alexyudelson.com/education/. Have a great day!

      Reply

  • Scott MacRae MD, Past President Rochester Cycling Alliance

    May 21, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    Many thanks for the first above comment. I share your concerns. Vision Zero does not address all these but is a critical to creating a safe, healthy, economically robust and high quality of life city. That’s why over 40 forward thinking US cities (NYC, LA, Wash DC etc.) have already adapted Vision Zero Policies. I strongly support Alex’s initiative to supporting Vision Zero. I agree that Rochester’s education system badly needs better leadership, support and direction. The above website proposes that. Vision Zero can help also, a lot! Our streets are not safe for our kids to walk or bike to school because our streets are dangerously designed to allow cars going 40-50 mph in our neighborhoods. They are also not safe for us either as motorists, pedestrians or bicyclists. In America there are over 2.5 million serious motor vehicle trauma injuries/year – over an 80 year lifetime two in three Americans seriously injured at the current rate, (we’re far more likely to have a serious motor vehicle injury than by crime although both need to be addressed). US children have 5 times the obesity rates of children in the Netherlands. Children that walk or bike to school perform better on average. There are huge economic benefits as well. Portland, Oregon, where I lived for 18 years, has a 7-8% of adults who bike to work which keeps $1.2 billion/year in the local economy serving as an incredibly robust regional multiplier feeding money back into the local economy. For this reason, I strongly support Alex’s innovative stance on Vision Zero. It’s long overdue in Rochester!

    Reply

  • Jason Haremza

    May 21, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    Fantastic. You may have just won my vote because of your support for Vision Zero.

    Reply

  • Gordon Britton

    May 22, 2020 at 7:13 am

    I saw a sign with your name on my ( almost ) daily walk in my neighborhood.
    So happy to hear that you are committed to safer streets for cyclists and pedestrians.

    Reply

  • Kellyanna Merrill

    May 23, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    Honestly, the part of this specific aspect of Alex’s platform that resonates as extremely important is making a LOT more room for bicycles on our streets and roads. Bikes are in our present and future and to be environmentally sustainable, their use will only increase. I’d also love to see us bring back the subway, and invest in more frequent buses going to the malls (and, just, everywhere). I would love to give up my car completely in favor of biking and public transit from my house in the South Wedge to my job at the Greece Ridge Mall, but the routes via bike to get there are an invite for one careless driver to casually paint their passenger side doors with my blood and crack my bones like an egg going into a frying pan. All I’m saying is… I’m breakable. And I’d love to see *actual* bike lanes as a part of our infrastructure that don’t get in the way of cars and cars don’t feel like taking their road rage out on us.

    Reply

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