#Local Government
City of New Haven
United States of America

A petition for the City of New Haven to take immediate action to improve traffic safety within our communities - with the immediate goal of reducing traffic injuries by 50% by 2009, 75% by 2012 and 90% by 2015.

A broad coalition of state and local elected officials, community groups, district management teams, neighborhood associations, and individuals have signed the petition and are supporting this campaign. Please check http://www.newhavensafestreets.org/ for the most recently updated list of petition sponsors.

Please distribute. Email newhavensafestreets [at] gmail.com if your business or organization is interested in supporting the petition.

Spanish translation: http://www.newhavensafestreets.org/2008/07/peticin-para-calles-seguras-de-new.html

WHEREAS, speeding traffic and various traffic violations are a major ongoing problem in the City of New Haven, resulting in dozens of serious and fatal injuries in 2008 alone, as well as measurable amounts of noise, pollution, negative impacts on child development and the erosion of neighborhood communities;

WHEREAS, as supporters of this petition, we commit to respecting all traffic laws and advocating for safer streets citywide, with the immediate goal of reducing the number of traffic injuries and fatalities within our communities by 50% by 2009;

WHEREAS, safe streets contribute to the perceived quality of life and physical safety of city residents, employees and visitors; and therefore are urgently needed to promote public health and long-term economic growth within our community;

WHEREAS, increased traffic safety is particularly necessary in dense downtown districts, major retail corridors, areas around schools, and medical center districts with high concentrations of pedestrians, bicyclists, young children and disabled individuals;

WHEREAS, marginally slower traffic speed limits and law-abiding traffic does not result in longer commute times to work, but actually may increase traffic efficiency, while resulting in exponential increases to public safety (for example, USDOT figures show a 5% fatality rate for pedestrians hit at 20MPH versus a 40% fatality rate for pedestrians hit at 30MPH);

WHEREAS, the Director of Transportation Michael Piscitelli has been a great ally in promoting long-term transportation improvements that benefit the entire city and region, but may require additional institutional infrastructure to implement his long-term vision for the city;

The undersigned supporters of this petition hereby request that the City of New Haven resolve to:

- Beginning immediately, reestablish and enforce a strict 25MPH speed limit throughout all streets and arterial roads in New Haven, by deploying vigorous and consistent traffic enforcement;

- Beginning immediately, strictly enforce all traffic regulations related to stop lights, stop signs, bicycle lanes, pedestrian crosswalks, and cell phone use while driving;

- Beginning in the 3rd Quarter of 2008 and continuing once every quarter, issue a citywide public report on the above two measures, including metrics on enforcement actions taken by neighborhood and number and type of penalties issued;

- Beginning immediately, develop long-term measures to greatly increase traffic safety through updated street design protocols such as those used in other major cities, and appoint a pedestrian and bicycle coordinator who can plan for such improvements more proactively;

- By the end of 2008, establish strict 15-20MPH speed limits in all areas with dense concentrations of pedestrians and bicyclists, including the areas immediately surrounding Yale-New Haven Hospital, the Hospital of Saint Raphael, and the Chapel Street retail corridor, and deploy improved pedestrian signage, lighting and signaling within those districts;

- Develop a high-level task force to explore the creation of 15-20MPH speed limits in all citywide residential districts, particularly along slower neighborhood streets and school zones where children frequently play on or near the street, with a report to be issued by the end of 2008 and a program of reduced speed limits in designated zones to be implemented by the 3rd Quarter of 2009;

- Develop a high-level task force to explore new citizen-led and school safety initiatives, traffic enforcement incentives, and the implementation of higher penalties for moving violations, aggressive driving, and motor vehicle assault, with a report to be issued by the end of 2008;

- Annually measure and reevaluate traffic safety initiatives with the goal of reducing the number of traffic-related injuries and fatalities on city streets and arterial roads by 50% by 2009, 75% by 2012 and 90% by 2015.

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The New Haven Petition for Safe Streets petition to City of New Haven was written by NewHavenSafeStreets and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.