Amid new questions of the effectiveness of vision zero, victims’ families gathered together to remember those lost and called for more action in order to keep the streets safe.
As they remembered the lives lost, advocates for street safety said the mayor's vision zero plan had become a little blurry with fatal accidents on the rise, but the mayor's spokesperson insisted his commitment has not wavered.
Dozens of family members and friends who lost loved ones in vehicle accidents in the city came together for a national day of remembrance. So far in 2016, there have been about 212 deaths, reversing the downward trend of the previous 2 years. For Bobbi Koval, the grief of losing her 22 year old son Jack in July has not diminished.
“At 22, he was out one night, and he crossed the street. He was hit by a reckless, negligent driver who killed him.” Koval said.
For another grieving mother, Evelyn Cancel, the thought of what might have been is still too much too bear.
“Dante never got to see the world. He never got to go to second grade. I’ll never be a grandmother from him. I’ll never see him go on his first date or graduate from high school. All of that was taken from me, and the person who did it was just given a $60 ticket,” said Cancel
The groups Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets organized the vigil, which brought out dozens of victims' loved ones and supporters. They're calling on the mayor to step up vision zero initiatives.
“The more we work with families of those who lost loved ones, the more we know that as much as they appreciate our empathy, what we really need is action,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives.
A spokesperson for the mayor said the Department of Transportation is on track to complete 90 current safety projects this year, which is the most ever.