Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday signed an executive order ordering departments to report back with ways to reduce traffic deaths in Los Angeles. For some reason, the media op included a wooden desk on the sidewalk in Boyle Heights. If nothing else, the scene caught the fancy of the reporters who covered the event. NBC 4's Conan Nolan tweeted the photo above of the ceremony, and also noted that the desk was left alone when the media op ended.
Claudia Peschiutta of KNX radio also was moved to tweet.
The order itself is one of good intentions with a grand, unachievable pronouncement attached — reducing vehicle deaths to zero within ten years. New York is already trying Vision Zero, as it's called — mostly making people drive slower to reduce the chance of fatal accidents for pedestrians and bike riders — and the New York Daily News says the results are mixed there.
Here's Garcetti's release:
The program, called “Vision Zero,” is based on the fundamental principle that traffic deaths can be avoided through strategic, data-driven approaches to engineering, enforcement, education, evaluation, and community engagement. Adoption of the Vision Zero policy is a key facet of the Livable Neighborhoods focus of Mayor Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn.
“We have to think big and work hard when it comes to keeping people safe,” said Mayor Garcetti. “It is tragic that 200 people are killed each year while moving about our city. With more people walking and biking than ever before, we must use every available tool to save lives. I am determined to bring that number down to zero.”
Mayor Garcetti signed the tenth executive directive of his administration, ordering multiple city departments to report back by Dec. 1, 2015 with specific recommendations for measures that would immediately reduce traffic-related deaths in L.A. by 20 percent by 2017. The directive also calls for the formation of a Vision Zero Task Force; as well as an Executive Steering Committee, led by city agencies in coordination with the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, that will work on proposals to eradicate deadly accidents on Los Angeles streets by 2025.
Among the leaders joining Mayor Garcetti on Monday were Councilmember Mike Bonin, Chair of the City Council’s Transportation Committee; and Councilmember Mitchell Englander, Chair of the Public Safety Committee. Both echoed the importance of prioritizing safety on our streets and sidewalks.
“Traveling through Los Angeles’ neighborhoods should not be a life-threatening exercise,” said Councilmember Bonin. “Through better planning, better design, and better enforcement, we can prevent thousands of traffic accidents and save hundreds of lives every year. We have the tools, the abilities, and the obligation to keep people safe and be a Vision Zero city.”
Said Councilmember Englander: "With nearly half of all traffic collisions in Los Angeles being hit-and-runs, Vision Zero had never been more critical for our community. As Chair of the Public Safety Committee and as a Reserve LAPD Officer, I have seen firsthand the critical need for not only this initiative but its strict enforcement on our streets.”
Citywide, 44 percent of persons killed or severely injured in traffic collisions are walking or using a bicycle. Children and older adults are particularly vulnerable, making up 30 percent of all people killed or severely injured while walking or using a bicycle. Vision Zero will focus efforts on improving safety on street segments with the highest numbers of life-threatening collisions.
“Mistakes happen, but the stakes are too high,” said Seleta Reynolds, General Manager for the Department of Transportation. “We must transform our city so that our youth and older adults aren’t risking their lives just to get around town.”
More information about Vision Zero can be found at visionzero.lacity.org