A City Record for Safety

At a press conference held in the waning days of last year, Mayor Bloomberg came to Grand Army Plaza to proclaim 2011 “the city’s safest traffic year in the more than 100 years since records were kept.”

Mayor Bloomberg at Grand Army Plaza

Mayor Bloomberg, NYCDOT Commissioner Saadik-Khan, and Police Commissioner head to the Central Library for the press conference. Photo by Edward Reed.

Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly joined the mayor at the Dec. 29 press conference to release some impressive statistics for traffic safety: As of Dec. 27, there were 237 traffic fatalities in 2011, 40% fewer than in 2001. Included in the 2011 numbers were 134 pedestrian fatalities in crashes with vehicles, an all-time record low and a 31% reduction since 2001; 47 senior pedestrian fatalities, a 27% reduction since 2001; and a record low of only three child pedestrian fatalities. Bicycle fatalities have held within the same range over the last decade, despite bike ridership quadrupling during that time period.

The new record lows come as the Department of Transportation has undertaken numerous safety engineering initiatives and public education efforts around the city, and the Police Department has implemented aggressive enforcement programs — all to reduce dangerous speeding, combat drunken driving, and calm traffic. Grand Army Plaza is representative of those efforts, where a new safety redesign was installed in October (see the fall Civic News for details). The latest improvements at Grand Army Plaza are expected to build on the nearly 40% reduction in crashes in the plaza over the last three years due to previous safety upgrades.

Head to on.nyc.gov/2011-traffic to read more about the year in New York City traffic safety.

from the Winter 2012 Civic News