GObike Statement of Support for School Speed Zone Cameras
“Truly safe streets are created through community-centered design, not armed traffic enforcement. When we use complete streets design principles, we make our communities safe for people of all ages and abilities, genders, races, and ethnicities. These investments are critically needed in neighborhoods facing disproportionate rates of traffic violence. ” stated Justin Booth, Executive Director of GObike Buffalo. We look forward to continuing to work with residents and the City to monitor and expand this commitment.”
“Together we must ensure these programs are implemented equitably, and that we meet our shared goals of enhancing opportunity, access, and well being for every Buffalo resident.”
Many of the streets around Buffalo’s schools are dangerous and harrowing for people who walk, bike, and take public transit. Motor vehicle traffic injuries are the leading cause of injury-related deaths in Erie County, with speeding being the second leading cause of crashes (New York State Department of Health). Children under the age of 18 are disproportionately hit by people driving cars in the City of Buffalo, having been involved in over one-fourth (26.5%) of all motor vehicle crashes with people walking and riding bikes (University at Buffalo report, 2010 – 2011).
Yet, on behalf of GObike, I would like to reinforce that we, as a community, must go beyond the traditional approach of simply targeting individual behavior through law enforcement and ticketing, fines, and fees. Many of the poorest neighborhoods in the city that are predominantly Black and Latino are more likely to have high pedestrian and bicycle injuries, and fatalities due to the lack of investment in basic street needs such as crosswalks. This coupled with the fact that police are 40 percent more likely to stop a Black driver than a white driver, many of which have led to police brutality and death, the need to invest in our streets and eliminate police from traffic enforcement is paramount.
Community voices are powerful antidotes to policies that have caused past harm. By investing in safe, fair, and equitable streets, we save money by reducing the need for police-led traffic enforcement. This is why we support the Mayor’s commitment to dedicate revenues derived from the School Zone Safety Program and establish guidelines for using federal infrastructure stimulus funding to invest in the streets around Buffalo’s schools that need it the most.