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.