Safer streets around schools a must
Oct 25, 2016 | 4625 views | 0 0 comments | 501 501 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The death of 13-year-old Jazmine Marin in Ozone Park yesterday should be a wake-up call to motorists, lawmakers and pedestrians alike. No child should ever be put in harm's way on their walk to school.

According to police, Marin and another 13-year-old were struck as they crossed bustling Crossbay Boulevard, a heavily trafficked road that's often traveled at high speeds. It widens to eight lanes at times, making crossing a risky proposition.

The city needs to first ensure that schools are not zoned in a way that will require children to cross this road – or any major thoroughfares - if possible. There are surely going to be some cases where it's necessary due to school overcrowding, but if it is at all avoidable it needs to be a priority.

The cold war between motorists and the de Blasio administration has gone on too long. Vision Zero's goal is admirable and the process towards the safest streets will not happen overnight.

The job of the Department of Transportation and their traffic engineers is to make sure the city is safer, not coddle drivers who are annoyed about lower speed limits and traffic cameras.

If one pedestrian fatality is avoided and one life is saved, then adding five minutes to the commute of everyone in New York City is worth it.

Vision Zero has not been implemented perfectly, and there's plenty of rightful criticisms about the minimal amount of community input that is often involved. But safety needs to go before comfort and ease of life, which is often a community priority.

Maybe yesterday's accident was unavoidable, but New York City and its residents need to do everything they can to avoid 13-year-old children being in danger every time they walk to school.
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