Many of the cyclists killed by motor vehicles in 2020 were low-income essential workers, according to a recent analysis by StreetsBlog. There were 243 victims of vehicle-related deaths last year, 26 of whom were cyclists. As StreetsBlog notes, 2020 was “the second deadliest [year] for traffic violence during Mayor de Blasio’s seven years in office.” The analysis argues that the mayor’s administration did not do enough to protect cyclists, many of whom died in “neighborhoods that have historically been neglected and underinvested in for street-safety improvements.”
According to the report, 24 of the 26 cyclist fatalities occurred in streets where the average medium household income is $59,479, or “$1,283 less than the citywide average of $60,762.” Ten of the 26 deaths took place on streets with a median income less than $45,000, and eight occurred in the Bronx, which StreetsBlog notes has a median income of $38,085 and is “the poorest of the five boroughs that has long been overlooked for infrastructure upgrades.”
In a statement about the statistics to StreetsBlog, the deputy director of road safety group Transportation Alternatives said, “Despite Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to make New York the fairest big city in America, people are dying most in the neighborhoods where Mayor de Blasio has done the least… Mayor de Blasio must implement much-needed improvements on our streets and prioritize neighborhoods that historically haven’t received their fair share of street safety investments, like protected bike lanes.”
As the analysis goes on to note, many of the cyclists who died on streets in low-income neighborhoods also resided in low income neighborhoods, with an average median income of $56,787 in the neighborhoods of 24 cyclists whose addresses were publicly available. StreetsBlog notes that this is $4,000 less than the average median income in New York City, and that census data indicates that the median income of New York City’s car owners is $85,000.
Data provided by the city also indicates that six of the cyclists killed by traffic violence “lived in areas where the median income is about $35,000 or less.” The report describes one of the cyclists killed, Victorio Hilario Guzman, a 37-year-old working as a food delivery cyclist who was “killed by a hit-and-run driver during a delivery on Grand Concourse and East 180th Street on Sept. 23.” His brother told StreetsBlog that New York City “is not doing enough” to protect cyclists.