NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The city’s mayoral candidates on Tuesday zeroed in on what some say is the failure of Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s signature Vision Zero initiative.

De Blasio adopted street safety as a key plank of his mayoralty within days of taking office, so it’s astonishing that he’s leaving office with a questionable record. Currently, 2021 is on track to be the deadliest overall of his eight years at the helm.

On Tuesday, the men who want to move into City Hall tried to reassure scared New Yorkers that things will be different if they get elected, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.


Democratic candidate Eric Adams rode a bike to his press conference on street safety in what seemed like a stunning rebuke of de Blasio.

Fatal crashes killed 77 New Yorkers from June to August, according to the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, and Adams didn’t mince words in describing the horrors.

“We’re tired of hearing the countless number of cases of people losing their lives to vehicle crashes. Since 2014, 1,800 people have lost their lives in New York City streets due to traffic violence and crashes. That’s unbelievable,” Adams said.

What’s also unbelievable is this — a 56-year-old deaf man on a bicycle was killed Friday as a white sedan came speeding towards him on a stretch of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, where the city has apparently delayed proposed safety improvements.

READ MOREIn Wake Of Hit-And-Run That Killed Deaf Father In Brooklyn, Questions Raised About Delays To Vision Zero Improvements On Atlantic Avenue

The city spent millions adding planted medians and extending curbs, but never began Phase 2 of the project, which was scheduled to start in 2019.

“The Phase 2 not moving, that’s news to me,” de Blasio said Monday.

Kramer asked Adams what he would do differently.

“Protected bike lanes. That’s crucial, and, second, lead by example. Ride your bike,” Adams said.

Adams said he wants to build 300 miles of protected bike lanes.

Kramer asked Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa the same question.

“You make the streets safe by allowing police to enforce the vehicular laws, which they’re no longer doing. It’s a free-for-all in the streets,” Sliwa said.

Sliwa was talking about what CBS2 cameras have documented — people on bikes, e-bikes, scooters and people on other modes of transportation ignoring red lights, bike lanes, and going up streets the wrong way. Cars ignore red lights, too.

READ MOREElection Day Guide For Voters In New York

New Yorkers want they next mayor to crack down.

“I want him to make sure that bicycles and electric scooters have some kind of laws that they cannot go the wrong way down a street, that they can’t pass a red light when they want to,” said Susan Vonsover of the Upper West Side.

“Not simply ticketing people, because that does only so much. People basically pay the ticket or they tear it up. People need to know that their car is going to be taken away, their licenses may be taken away,” Charles Hamilton added.

With the election just two weeks away, the issue touched off a war of words.

Adams said he will ride his bike to City Hall and charged that Sliwa doesn’t know how to ride a bike. Sliwa called foul, saying he rode a bike to deliver newspapers when he was young and can ride no-handed.

He then challenged Adams to a bike race.

Marcia Kramer