The New York City Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan

The first, unprecedented, Pedestrian Safety Report and Action Plan examines over 7,000 records of crashes that have caused serious injuries or fatalities to pedestrians, and indentifies underlying causes. DOT will use this data to inform the work the agency does to reduce traffic fatalities and make New York City streets safe for everyone.

The Action Plan builds upon DOT’s strategic plan, Sustainable Streets, as well as the work DOT has done in accordance with Local Law 11, signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg in April 2008. Read Mayor Bloomberg’s press release about the report and the addition of 1500 pedestrian countdown signals citywide Download the map of pedestrian countdown signals and list of locations citywide

Anti-Speeding Campaign

Building on the Action Plan, DOT has launched an anti-speeding ad campaign to improve safety for pedestrians, motorists and cyclists throughout the city. Read the press release announcing the new campaigns. Watch DOT’s new anti-speeding advertisements and learn why the standard speed limit in NYC is 30 mph

Download the report (pdf): Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan Technical Supplement Appendices A, B & C

Key Findings

  • 2009 was the safest year on record in New York City history.
  • Traffic fatalities in 2009 were down by 35% from 2001.
  • NYC’s traffic fatality rate is about a quarter of the national rate and less than half the rate in the next 10 largest U.S. cities.
  • Traffic crashes cost the City’s economy $4.29 billion annually.
  • Pedestrians are 10 times more likely to die than a motor vehicle occupant in the event of a crash.
  • Pedestrians accounted for 52% of traffic fatalities from 2005-2009.
  • Driver inattention was cited in nearly 36% of crashes resulting in pedestrians killed or seriously injured.
  • 27% of fatal pedestrian crashes involved driver failure to yield.
  • Pedestrian-vehicle crashes involving unsafe speeds are twice as deadly as other crashes.
  • Serious pedestrian crashes are about two-thirds deadlier on major street corridors than on smaller local streets.
  • Most New Yorkers do not know the city’s standard speed limit is 30 m.p.h.
  • 80% of crashes that kill or seriously injure pedestrians involve male drivers.
  • 79% of crashes that kill or seriously injure pedestrians involve private vehicles, not taxis, trucks and buses.
  • Serious pedestrian crashes are about two-thirds deadlier on major street corridors than on smaller local streets.
  • Manhattan has four times as many pedestrian killed or severely injured per mile of street compared to the other four boroughs.
  • 43% of pedestrians killed in Manhattan lived in other boroughs or outside New York City.

2010-2011 Action Plan Highlights

Based on the findings of this study, DOT will undertake a comprehensive set of actions, including the following:

  • Install countdown pedestrian signals at 1,500 intersections
  • Re-engineer 60 miles of streets for greater pedestrian safety, according to corridor crash data.
  • Re-engineer 20 intersections for pedestrian safety on major two-way streets.
  • Launch a pilot program to test the safety performance of neighborhood 20 m.p.h zone.
  • Implement pilot program to improve visibility at left turns along avenues in Manhattan.