Any city can brand its safety projects ‘Vision Zero’. New York has had success, while LA has failed. London is the latest city to sign up – but local opposition has already blocked the mayor’s flagship pedestrianisation of Oxford Street
Mon 17 Sep 2018
Bill de Blasio was two weeks into his term as New York mayor when he stood with weeping parents at the street corner where eight-year-old Noshat Nahian was killed while walking to school and pledged to end the city’s “epidemic” of road deaths.
Noshat was crossing the seven-lane Northern Boulevard in Queens with his 11-year-old sister five days before Christmas 2013 when Mauricio Osorio-Palominos, operating an enormous truck on a suspended driving licence, turned left across their path. Noshat was the 11th child under 13 to be killed on the streets of New York that year.
The urgent 30-day plan De Blasio ordered became the first Vision Zero policy of a major US city, blazing a trail for mayors around the world to tackle what the World Health Organization calls a “major but neglected global health problem” and which killed 1.25 million people in 2013. In two weeks in late November that year, four New Yorkers were killed by drivers on sidewalks, sparking protests.