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Mayor Bill de Blasio looks to Sweden for latest NYC reform: No more traffic deaths: report

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is looking to Sweden as the template for his strategy to target 2024 as the city's first year with zero traffic deaths.

The New York Times reports that Sweden's Volvos and bicycles coexist peacefully because of bike lanes, reduced speed limits and automated traffic enforcement. While each of those exist in New York, state lawmakers who must approve the measures "have yet to embrace the ideas widely."

Plus, New York City's 8 million-plus residents, impatience and multilingual drivers may not translate into the idyllic scene of order on the average Swedish street.

Sweden adopted its own Vision Zero plan in 1997 to bring its transportation planning into the next century, The Times reported, setting up "a social contract between state and citizen: If residents follow the most basic traffic laws, engineers can design roads to guard against all fatalities."

"You should be able to make mistakes," Lars Darin, a senior official with the Swedish Transport Administration, told The Times, "without being punished by death."

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