In an effort to stay in touch with and hear the concerns of New Haven residents, the mayor holds Mayor’s Night Out events on occasion. The latest occurred in mid-October, and the main topic discussed was traffic safety — particularly concerning bicycle safety.
Why did bike safety take center stage at this event? Recently, a box truck hit and killed a student at Yale Law School while riding a bike near Yale New Haven Hospital. This individual was the 13th person to die in this type of accident this year. This was the third such death in 12 years at this particular location. Too many people are losing their lives in bike vs auto accidents, and residents want the city to do something about it.
What many residents want
Concerned residents and the Safe Streets Coalition are asking the city to spend more on various safety measures. Many want to see:
- The speed limit reduced to 20 mph
- More bike lanes
- Better positioned bike lanes
- The installation of speed enforcement cameras
- The installation of red light enforcement cameras
- Side guard, cross-over mirror, convex mirror and blind-spot decal requirements for large trucks
- Modifications in road design
- The creation of a community task force
Not everyone agrees with this wish list, but those who do believe that implementing all of the above, or even just a few of these measures, would greatly reduce the number of pedestrian and cyclist traffic-related fatalities.
Money. Money is what usually stands in the way of proposed traffic safety policies receiving approval. Right now, the city says it lacks funding for infrastructure modifications and for the extra police officers needed to enforce the requested changes. However, the mayor has stated that bicycle and pedestrian safety is a top priority, and his office is looking at making various improvements, within budget.
Where to turn after losing a loved one
If you’ve lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, you likely want to know who you can hold accountable for your losses. It may be possible for you to file civil claims against the individual responsible for causing the accident. If poor traffic safety measures were also a factor, one may file claims against the city as well. An experienced attorney will have the ability to review the details of your case and assist you in pursuing relief through legal means if doing so is appropriate.