Yesterday I saw (but first heard) an NYPD van with a loudspeaker, driving up and down Grand Street near Leonard with a public service announcement about Vision Zero. Hearing a strange disembodied voice from a van on the street is highly jarring and I quickly felt that I was in some kind of police state/ demilitarized zone and had to evacuate with only one ragged suitcase before all hell broke loose.

The male voice on the speaker was saying something like “ATTENTION: MAYOR DI BLASIO IS GOING MAKE OUR STEETS SAFER [REPEATS THIS MESSAGE IN SPANISH]”. Apparently in Crown Heights this was done in Yiddish.

I fully support Vision Zero and what it represents but this felt like some kind of drive by scare tactic. Or maybe I’ve watched too many post-apocolyptic movies based on Soviet takeovers…

Anyway, I thought to myself, “there must be a better way.” And as if my prayers were answered by the high holy one of urban transit, today, a friend of mine got an email from Transportation Alternative with some useful information. Apparently, tonight there will be a super special street safety forum on implementing Vision Zero in Greenpoint (that’s here, for those of you who just woke up).

Here’s the INFO:


Bring your ideas for how we can make our neighborhood streets safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers. This forum will provide the opportunity to share your local expertise, concerns, and ideas on the best ways to make Greenpoint’s streets safer for everyone. Refreshments will be provided.

WHAT: Greenpoint Vision Zero Street Safety Forum
WHEN: Thursday May 22, 6pm-8pm
WHERE: Greenpoint Public Library,107 Norman Avenue at Leonard St.

Did you read that correctly? If so, you will notice that at the very least, there will be refreshments…and also activism.

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