Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #15-023

Scott Gastel/Gloria Chin (212) 839-4850

NYC DOT and NYPD Release Vision Zero Borough Pedestrian Safety Plan for the Bronx

The plan includes a Borough Profile, establishes Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas, and outlines comprehensive actions for a safer Bronx

Written in close partnership with the NYPD, the Bronx Pedestrian Safety Action Plan is the result of a year’s worth of public outreach and highly detailed data analysis called for in the 2014 Vision Zero Action Plan

NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Chief Thomas Moran, NYPD Patrol Borough Bronx and Deputy Inspector Lorenzo Johnson of the 40 Precinct today unveiled the Borough Pedestrian Safety Action Plan that establishes a comprehensive set of actions for DOT, NYPD and other agencies and serve as the next major step in achieving Vision Zero. The Borough Plans are one of 63 Vision Zero initiatives announced last year and were developed by integrating detailed crash analysis with input from several Vision Zero town halls and public workshops, including thousands comments submitted by New Yorkers.

This analysis and input resulted in the identification of The Bronx’ most dangerous corridors, intersections, and areas, which are clearly identified in the plan’s Bronx Priority Map. The announcement was held at the Leon Senior Center in the Melrose section of The Bronx, near the intersection of Jackson Avenue and Westchester Avenue, the location of a major pedestrian island installation project scheduled for implementation this year. This intersection also happens to be a Vision Zero Priority Area, meaning historically, the area has had high rates of death and severe injury to pedestrians. Priority corridors, intersections, and areas will be the focus of future engineering & planning, education, and enforcement activity. Pedestrian fatalities, which have fallen in the past three decades, has recently seen a rise in The Bronx in recent years. In comparison with New York City overall, fatalities are heavily concentrated in high density neighborhoods and are more common in younger adults ages 18-29.

“A year ago we launched Vision Zero and I know everyone at DOT is proud to start working on year two of this extremely important initiative to keep every New Yorker safe,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “These Borough Plans combine cutting edge data analysis and community input from the city’s most important resource – its residents – and will help the City target its engineering, enforcement, and education efforts to make New York’s streets the safest in the world.”

“The Borough Pedestrian Safety Plans are another step forward in our collaborative goal of achieving Vision Zero,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan. “They are a manifestation of the city’s strong commitment and dedication to Vision Zero and will assist the NYPD in deployment of its traffic safety resources. The plans will also draw awareness to Vision Zero and the unified approach to making our roadways safer.”

“The impetus behind Vision Zero is to provide our residents with the safest traffic conditions possible so that we protect both pedestrians and drivers,” said Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson. “After months of gathering feedback from citizens and researching data we now have a specific list of traffic areas that must be re-evaluated in order to try to ensure safer streets. I wish to thank Mayor De Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for their commitment to ending traffic deaths and accidents.”

“Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative is the most comprehensive approach to reducing traffic fatalities in our City’s history,” said State Senator Jose Serrano. “By using data derived from community input along with traffic statistics, Vision Zero engages a grassroots approach to addressing the need for safer streets. Today’s announcement is yet another example of this proven community based approach, designed to address the unique needs of each neighborhood in New York City.”

“Borough pedestrian plans like the one released today will give elected officials, community boards, and residents alike the data we need to know exactly where our resources should go to achieve Vision Zero,” said New York City Council Transportation Committee Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez. ”By targeting certain neighborhoods, intersections, and roads we will ensure that Vision Zero is one step closer to reality.”

“Over the last year, the Department of Transportation and the NYPD have done a tremendous job in identifying dangerous areas for pedestrians throughout the city,” said Assemblyman Luis R. Sepúlveda. “Their use of town halls and workshops, including one that took place in my district, was an important part of this process which ensured that communities were involved in the assessment of these problem areas. I look forward to seeing what initiatives result from the collected data.”

“This is another crucial step in our work toward Vision Zero,” said Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez. “I commend the department of transportation, the mayor’s administration and the NYPD for focusing their efforts on those intersections with disproportionately high injury and fatality rates. It is efforts like these that make our neighborhoods much safer.”

“The public safety of all New Yorkers is a major priority of this Administration and today’s announcement of the Borough Pedestrian Safety Plan is a step further of progress in identifying unique challenges we are facing in the Bronx,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson. “The priorities and recommendations laid out in the Borough Pedestrian Safety Plan were derived from community input and will focus on additional street lighting, coordination of pedestrian crossing times, expanded signage and other enhancements to expand awareness of dangerous intersections. I appreciate all the Bronx residents who attended many town hall meetings to engage in discussions on improved safety for drivers, bike riders and pedestrians. The Vision Zero plan will have a significant impact on further reducing traffic fatalities and preventable traffic accidents in the Bronx. As chair of the Committee on Public Safety, I want to applaud the commitment of Mayor de Blasio, NYPD Chief Chan, DOT Commissioner Trottenberg, Bronx DOT Commissioner Moran, TLC Commissioner Joshi, Speaker Mark-Viverito, Transportation Chair Rodriguez, my Council Colleagues and all the stakeholders for their partnership in achieving the goals of the Vision Zero plan.”

“Cracking down on speeding, aggressive driving, and other traffic violations is a crucial part of ensuring the safety of New York City residents,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera. “The safety of pedestrians is of utmost concern in our communities, where the majority of residents’ daily commute includes walking to and from public transportation and their destinations. For this reason, I wholeheartedly support the Vision Zero campaign and am committed to seeing its expansion in the Bronx in 2015″

In The Bronx, about 27 pedestrians die each year from traffic crashes. Overnight (midnight to 6:00 AM) pedestrian fatalities account for a far greater share in The Bronx as opposed to city wide – 31 percent as opposed to 21 percent. Dangerous driver choices also played a major role in pedestrian fatalities in The Bronx with data showing it was the primary cause or a contributing factor in 85 percent of fatalities versus 69 percent throughout New York City overall.

Overall the plan identified 25 Priority Corridors, 46 Priority Intersections, and 8 square miles of Priority Areas where crashes that severely injure or kill pedestrians are concentrated. Sixty one percent of all pedestrian fatalities from 2009-2013 were concentrated within these priority geographies. The 25 Priority Corridors consist of just 8 percent (65 miles) of the borough’s total street mileage but contain more than half of the boroughs total pedestrian fatalities and severe injuries (KSI.) The 46 Priority Intersections are just 1% of the over 6,400 intersections in the borough, but they were the site of 15% of its pedestrian KSI. Finally, the Priority Areas constitute just 20% of the borough’s land area (42 square miles) but contain almost half of all pedestrian KSI. For the first time, the plans reveal the detailed fatality and injury rates of individual corridors and intersections, which will improve how DOT and NYPD work with the public to improve safety.

The Bronx Pedestrian Safety Action Plan also followed an extensive community outreach, dialogue and input process in 2014 at town hall meetings and public workshops and online, which resulted in over 1,369 pedestrian safety issues being shared with DOT. Speeding (21%) and failure to yield (20%) were the most frequently cited issues. Sixty three percent of workshop attendees viewed wide arterial streets as the most important areas for pedestrian safety improvements. And finally, 45% of the issues shared fall outside of the Priority Corridors, Intersections and Areas, highlighting the need for improved engagement in areas with low levels of feedback but high rates of injury. This input will inform and guide our efforts to collaboratively develop interventions that will make The Bronx safer.

The Action Plan consists of engineering & planning, enforcement and education & awareness campaigns involving multiple agencies. The Priority Map will serve as a guide for

Engineering and Planning

  • Implement at least 50 Vision Zero safety engineering improvements annually at Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas citywide
  • Significantly expand exclusive pedestrian crossing time on all Bronx Priority Corridors by the end of 2017
  • Add exclusive pedestrian crossing time to all feasible Bronx Priority Intersections by the end of 2017
  • Modify signal timing to reduce off-peak speeding on all feasible Bronx Priority Corridors by the end of 2017
  • Install expanded speed limit signage on all Bronx Priority Corridors in 2015
  • Drive community input and engagement at Bronx Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas
  • Install additional lighting under elevated trains and at other key transit stops
  • Expand midblock treatments on Bronx Priority Corridors with high rates of midblock crossing pedestrian crashes
  • Coordinate with MTA to ensure bus operations contribute to a safe pedestrian environment
  • Expand a bicycle network in The Bronx that improves safety for all road users
  • Proactively design for pedestrian safety in high-growth areas in The Bronx including locations in the Housing New York plan

Enforcement

  • Implement the majority of speed cameras at Priority Corridors, Intersections and Areas
  • Focus enforcement and deploy dedicated resources to Bronx NYPD precincts that overlap substantially with Priority Areas
  • Concentrate targeted enforcement at all Bronx Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas annually
  • Focus speeding enforcement in the overnight hours, targeting transit stops and other pedestrian hotspots for off-peak commuting

Education and Awareness Campaigns

  • Target child and senior safety education at Bronx Priority Corridors and Priority Areas
  • Target Street Team outreach at Bronx Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas
  • Focus messaging and placement of Vision Zero public information campaigns targeting night-time drivers, as well as addressing at-risk Bronx demographic groups, such as younger adults and overnight commuters.

DOT also provided an advance look at a few anticipated 2015 Vision Zero safety projects for the borough beyond the Jackson Avenue and Westchester Avenue project. They include:

  • Intervale Avenue (from Freeman Street to the intersection of Intervale Avenue and Dawson Street)
  • Fordham Road Corridor Safety Improvements (from University Avenue to Southern Boulevard)
  • East Tremont (from Boston Road to Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard)

In 2014, DOT expanded its efforts to improve the safety of its streets through engineering treatments. In that year DOT cumulatively made the most significant changes for safety than any previous year and these improvements resulted in the lowest pedestrian fatality totals since record-keeping began in 1910. NYPD also stepped up enforcement, increasing summonses for failure to yield to pedestrians by 126%, deterring one of the leading factors behind pedestrian fatalities.

The Bronx Borough Plan is available at the DOT website at www.nyc.gov/dot and subsequent borough plans will be released later this week.

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