City streets can be safe places

By Mujeres en Movimiento

Mujeres en Movimiento is a collective of almost 150 members, primarily immigrant Latina women. We are women who jumped the fence years ago in search of the American dream. We used to think that the American dream was having a big house, earning money, having a car. Now we know that it is something else. It is speaking freely amongst ourselves about the things that affect us; it is feeling that we have a right to our communities and neighborhoods.

For almost two years we have been involved in a process that has been pressing for safer streets, beginning with a community dialogue in the Corona Library in July 2014 about the Mayor’s Vision Zero. There, we learned that it is possible to redesign streets to make them safer.

In collaboration with other organizations we have contributed our time towards advocating for safety improvements to 111th Street, Queens Boulevard and other key streets that connect our neighborhoods.

We would like to see more crosswalks, pedestrian islands, and a reduction in crossing distances. We would like to see protected bicycle lanes where we don’t feel afraid to ride our bikes with our children.

It is not a great sacrifice to reduce the number of car lanes on these streets. This has been confirmed by the Department of Transportation. Those that are protecting the high number of car lanes are are forgetting about the potential cost in terms of lives lost, and the suffering of those that lose a loved one because of a crash.

On May 10, Queens Community Board 4 will vote on the proposed safety improvements to Queens Boulevard, including the implementation of a protected bicycle lane. We understand that the outcome of that vote foreshadows the outcomes to the proposed improvements for 111th Street, including the proposed bicycle lane there.

This is a call for support to all moms and parents in the affected communities, to all the institutions that have worked with us, to the mayor, the government officials, our Community Board, and to the Department of Transportation, to join us for a symbolic action on 111th Street and 46th Avenue May 7, the eve of Mother’s Day, at 1 p.m. We are inviting all of them to join us as 111 mothers stop traffic for 111 seconds on 111th Street. We are creating a “safe space” for our children, relatives, friends, and neighbors to safely cross the dangerous street and sending a message in support of street safety projects.

We deserve to have a voice in the development of our communities, so that their development can benefit us and our children, not marginalize us.

Our voices count!

Mujeres en Movimiento

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