FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES LATEST EFFORTS TO MAKE NEW YORK CITY STREETS EVEN SAFER IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, August 22, 2010
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"New York's streets are safer by far than the streets in any other major American city. Our rate of fatal traffic crashes is less than half what it is in the ten next largest cities in the nation; it's also 40 percent lower than it was in 2001. In fact last year, even as our population reached a record high 8.4 million people, the 256 traffic deaths in the five boroughs were the fewest in the 100 years that we've been keeping good records.
"We're confident that we can do even better. That's why the City's Department of Transportation has just painstakingly analyzed eight years of traffic safety information, including reports on more than 7,000 crashes involving pedestrians. Now, using that data, we're about to take new steps to make our streets even safer, especially for pedestrians, who year in and year out suffer the majority of traffic deaths in our city.
"Within a few weeks, for example, we'll start installing countdown clocks at more than 1,500 intersections throughout the five boroughs. The clocks show pedestrians how many seconds remain to cross intersections before the light changes against them. Our extensive testing of countdown clocks has found that they make crossings safer for pedestrians at wide intersections on major thoroughfares. Now we're going to start putting them up at intersections on such broad and busy roadways as Queens Boulevard, 4th Avenue in Brooklyn, Hylan Boulevard on Staten Island, and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. They'll also become standard equipment as we put in new traffic signals at other major intersections. We think they're going to make a big difference - especially for older New Yorkers, who while only 12 percent of the city's population, suffer 38 percent of pedestrian fatalities.
"Mile for mile, Manhattan's streets have far more serious and fatal pedestrian accidents than those in any other borough - and we're taking steps to improve safety on them, too. We will, for example, re-engineer intersections of Manhattan avenues with major two-way cross-town streets, like Canal Street and 125th Street, where many of these accidents involving pedestrians occur. Left turns by autos from Manhattan avenues are also a particular problem - so to improve visibility at those intersections we will, on a pilot basis, restrict curbside parking at such locations.
"You can read all about these and other traffic safety improvements that we're planning to make, as well as our Transportation Department's pedestrian safety report - the most ambitious of its kind in the nation - on line at the City's web site, nyc.gov. And while you're at it, keep this in mind, too: Our analysis of traffic crashes showed that driver inattention, caused by a variety of factors including texting and talking on the phone, was the biggest single contributor to accidents that killed pedestrians. We also found that most New Yorkers don't know that, unless marked otherwise, the standard speed limit on City streets is just 30 miles per hour. There's plenty that City government will be doing to make our streets safer. There's a lot that individual motorists can do by being alert and responsible too.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address