A recent article in the Staten Island Advance analyzes the upsurge of traffic deaths that have occurred on Staten Island in 2021. According to the report, there have been eight road violence deaths in Staten Island since January 2021, “more than double the three traffic deaths the borough had seen by this time last year.” Continue reading
Twenty-five people were killed in road violence incidents in New York City last month, in what StreetsBlog describes as “the deadliest April since Mayor de Blasio took office in 2014,” during “the second deadliest year for road violence” during his administration. The statistics, outlined in data released by think take Transportation Alternatives, cast a grim pall over the city’s Vision Zero program. Continue reading
Earlier this month a group of safe-streets lobbying groups in New York released the Crash Victims Rights and Safety Act, a collection of eight pieces of legislation “that will better support victims of traffic violence and make streets safer across New York State at a moment when traffic fatalities and speeding are both on the rise,” according to advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. The lobbying group, which includes Families for Safe Streets and and other organizations, is campaigning for the passage of these eight bills this year.
The eight bills in the Crash Victims Rights and Safety Act include the following, according to StreetsBlog NYC:
The New York City Comptroller’s office recently released a report showing that between July 1, 2019 until June 30, 2020, New York City paid $142.4 million to settle “1,390 claims filed by people injured by the on-the-job driving practices of city employees.” StreetsBlog NYC reported earlier this month that this figure reflects a 3% increase in car crash claims since the previous fiscal year and a 33% increase in total settlements.
In contrast to the increase in claims concerning injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents, according to StreetsBlog, the Comptroller’s report showed a decline in total personal injury claims against New York City, “from 16,713 in fiscal year 2019 to 15,553 in 2020.” In a statement, Comptroller Scott Stringer suggested this was tied to the coronavirus pandemic, saying: “The pandemic took an unimaginable toll on our neighbors and loved ones, small businesses, and the way we all work and live. Protecting and strengthening the city’s fiscal health is now more important than ever to make a strong economic recovery.”
The city of Hoboken, New Jersey, has recorded zero traffic violence deaths for three years, an impressive feat which a recent report by Streetsblog recently attributed to the city’s commitment to its Vision Zero campaign.
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla launched the campaign in 2019, expanding its network of bicycle lanes by 38% in that year and 2020. Today Hoboken has a “total on-street network of 16.3 miles” of bike lanes, encompassing nearly 50% of the city’s 33 miles of roadway—although, as StreetsBlog notes, only 6.4% of the bicycle lanes are not protected. New York City, on the other hand, launched its Vision Zero campaign in 2014 and now has 1,375 miles of bicycle lanes (546 of which are protected) on its 6,000 miles of roadway, or about 23%. Continue reading
According to New York City’s preliminary Mayor’s Management Report, road fatalities in the city rose 40% from July 1 to October 31, 2020, reaching a total of 106 deaths compared to the same period in 2019. As StreetsBlog details, the report also found that pedestrian deaths rose 16% in that period, while motorcyclist rose 80% and car driver fatalities “almost doubled” from 7% to 13%. These figures, Streetsblog argues, reflects the shortcomings in the city’s governance of its “dangerous roadways” when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, rolling back progress in its Vision Zero campaign to eliminate all traffic violence in New York City. Continue reading
A new bill passed by the New York City Council puts the city’s Department of Transportation in charge of “all vehicle crashes involving significant injury” rather than the New York Police Department. The new legislation, Intro 224-A, creates a “crash investigation and analysis unit” within the DOT which will also be tasked to recommend “safety-improving changes to street design and infrastructure” and to publish its car crash analyses, according to StreetsBlog.
American roads have grown more and more dangerous for pedestrians in recent years, according to a recent article by NPR, and statistics show they are especially deadly for minorities. Data gathered by the Governors Highway Safety Administration shows that “6,301 pedestrians were killed by vehicles on American streets” in 2019, an increase of 46% since 2010. The same time frame saw a 5% increase in all traffic fatalities (vehicle occupants as well as pedestrians).
According to NPR, pedestrian deaths in the US increased 20% during the first six months of 2020. That figure, the pedestrian death rate, is calculated by comparing “the number of people struck and killed” by vehicles against “the number of miles driven.” Experts suggest that the death rate increased because as cars disappeared from the roads during the pandemic, many of the drivers who did venture out engaged in speeding and reckless driving. Continue reading
A new bill in the New York City Council would remove the New York Police Department’s authority to investigate car crashes, vesting that power instead with the city’s Department of Transportation. According to StreetsBlog, the bill is supported by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson but opposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
In a statement to the publication, Johnson said that the Department of Transportation “could operate in a better way,” and that the transfer of power would professionalize the investigation of car crashes and traffic incidents. In a statement arguing against the bill, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in part: “I want to see stronger penalties for people who hurt or kill other people with their automobile. I still think we have farther to go on that front, particularly in state law. I want to see more stringent investigations that lead to consequences… my goal is to just do better with crash investigations, but I think NYPD and DOT both have a role to play.” Continue reading
New York City Council candidate John Sanchez recently laid out his plan for making the streets of The Bronx safer for cyclists and pedestrians. In an essay on StreetsBlog NYC, Sanchez described the key elements of his plan, which include protected bike lanes, curtailing parking, and better street design. “As a lifelong resident of The Bronx, I want my neighborhood to be one in which a family can ride bikes safely,” he wrote, “in which no one dies or become seriously injured simply for walking in the neighborhood or for performing the job of delivering food — left and discarded on the road by a hit-and-run driver.” Continue reading