ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — United by the belief that recent traffic violence in Albany demands action, safety groups are gathering in Academy Park at noon, Friday, November 18, in recognition of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Advocates will be reading the names of pedestrians and cyclists who have died in traffic collisions in the city since 2017.
“We will ask that Albany and New York State take the steps necessary to prevent needless deaths and serious injuries caused by traffic crashes in our city,” Ed Brennan, President of the Albany Bicycle Coalition, said in a written statement. “All the citizens of Albany have a right to safe mobility.”
Nationally, in the past two years, almost 20% more people died in traffic crashes than in previous years, according to estimates from the National Safety Council. In the first quarter of 2022, about 7% more people were killed than in the same quarter last year.
So far in 2022, Albany has seen the loss of Tanisha Brathwaite, Kathleen McBride, and Larry Cunningham to alleged traffic violence. The crashes that killed Brathwaite and Cunningham are both being investigated as hit-and-runs. The driver accused of hitting McBride later crashed into a building and had to be pulled from his van by Albany firefighters. He is expected to survive, police said.
“Traffic violence is a preventable public health crisis,” Brennan said. “There are proven steps that can be taken to save lives and prevent serious injuries.”
On World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, communities all over the globe are organizing events to demand change. This Day of Remembrance was brought to the U.S. by Families for Safe Streets, a national organization that was founded by the families of loved ones who were killed or injured in crashes in New York.
Advocates will call on the City of Albany to:
- Reduce the citywide speed limit to 25 miles per hour.
- Make safety analysis and improvement part of regular road maintenance.
- Narrow crossing distances and light intersections better.
- Deploy speed humps.
- Improve sidewalks and crosswalks.
- Deploy pedestrian priority traffic signals.
- Improve bicycle infrastructure.
- Create a plan for implementing the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.
- Deploy speed cameras.
- Implement reverse-angle parking citywide.
“We recognize that the City of Albany and New York State have taken some steps to improve safety and we appreciate those champions of safe streets that are among our elected and public officials,” noted Brennan. “However, the endless and increasing toll of needless deaths and injuries from traffic violence demands that the above steps be taken, that efforts be redoubled and that greater resources be applied to prevent these tragedies.”