Vision Zero, where are you?

Last year, Mayor deBlasio launched Vision Zero at the intersection of West 95th St. and West End Avenue. Parents and community members stood with the Mayor that day, knowing all too well the feeling of risking our lives at this deadly intersection.

We've had two traffic deaths in the last two years at or near this intersection. We cannot accept any more traffic deaths in our community, and we especially do not accept that our kids should risk their lives to attend public school.

Pedestrians hit by cars on West End Ave. July 2012- July 2014
A crossing guard and new traffic rules at 95th Street and West End Avenue have helped make our kids safer here. Still, our children will always have to take extra measures to be safe in the crowded rush of cars pushing their way off the West Side Highway on the narrow street in front of PS75 and West Side Collaborative.

Now the Department of Buildings is poised to approve permits for a massive high-rise construction project literally on the doorstep of the schools. The developers propose closing one lane of the already-congested West 95th Street, squeezing heavy traffic into yet a smaller space, and ejecting frustrated drivers into our deadly crossing at West End Avenue.

The traffic pressure created if DOB approves these permits will be incredibly dangerous, undoing the benefit of Vision Zero measures at this corner. Vision Zero requires the cooperation of six city agencies -- but the Department of Buildings is not one of them. This lack of coordination is not just ridiculous, but dangerous. It would be resolved by requiring DOB applicants to provide a Community Protection Plan, so that the burden of pointing out such inconsistencies doesn't fall on individual communities.