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Mayor de Blasio Announces New Vision Zero Action Plan To Make Most Dangerous Streets Safer

February 19, 2019

Using latest crash data, City to target 424 miles of streets where nearly half of pedestrian fatalities occur

New York––Mayor Bill de Blasio today released DOT’s new Borough Pedestrian Safety Plans, which target the next wave of streets and intersections the City will make safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. The plans use the latest crash data, showing that just 7 percent of the city’s streets – 424 miles – are responsible for nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities. By the end of 2019, the City will change traffic signals on all the newly added corridors to discourage speeding, and give pedestrians exclusive crossing time at 300 intersections to prevent crashes. The new priority streets and intersections are the roadmap for future Vision Zero safety projects and enforcement – ensuring tools like speed cameras, police enforcement and re-engineering are applied where they’ll save the most lives.

The first Borough Pedestrian Plans, released in 2015, saw an average decline in pedestrian fatalities at targeted sites of 36 percent, driving the City’s record fatality declines. The City has addressed nearly all locations from the plans with some protective measures, and will continue to deepen those in the years ahead to keep driving down injuries and fatalities.

“We will never stop working towards our goal of Vision Zero and saving lives across the city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Using our data-driven approach, we have identified hotspots around the city that are driving the majority of traffic fatalities, and are implementing targeted plans there and across the city that will make our streets safer for all. After our success last year with the safest year on record, we will continue building towards a safer and fairer city for all.”

“Over the last four years, DOT’s groundbreaking Borough Pedestrian Safety Plans have enabled us to target our resources where they will save the most lives,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “In these updated plans, we have used the freshest data to identify new crash-prone corridors and intersections most in need of our full menu of safety interventions.”

New Priority Locations
Using crash data, new Priority Corridors were added to the new Borough Safety Plans, including:

  • Bronx: Westchester Avenue (3rd Avenue to Bronx River Avenue), Boston Road - 3rd Avenue to Bronx Park East, Soundview Avenue – (White Plains Road to Bruckner Boulevard)
  • Brooklyn: Linden Blvd (Flatbush Av to Sapphire St), 8th Avenue – (39th Street to 73rd Street), Surf Avenue – (Ocean Parkway to Atlantic Avenue), Bedford Avenue – (Manhattan Avenue to Flatbush Avenue).
  • Manhattan: Columbus Avenue (9th Avenue to Morningside Drive), York Avenue – (Sutton Place to the FDR), 10th Avenue (West Street to 59th Street)
  • Queens: Rockaway Boulevard (Eldert Lane to 3rd Street), 37th Avenue – (114th Street to Woodside Avenue), 21st Street (50th Avenue to 20th Avenue)
  • Staten Island: Targee Street - (Van Duzer Street to Richmond Road), Bradley Avenue – (Watchogue Rd to Brielle Avenue), Lincoln Avenue – (Richmond Road to Father Capodanno Boulevard)

In February 2015, DOT compiled data on crashes, deaths and serious injuries on our streets to create the Borough Pedestrian Safety Plans. These detailed, data-driven plans provided a new road map for Vision Zero, by identifying the most dangerous areas, intersections and corridors in the city. Since then, the Administration has made these areas the focus of its Vision Zero efforts. DOT has now addressed 90 percent of those intersections and 86 percent of the street-miles targeted in 2015 – leading to a 36 percent drop in pedestrian deaths at these locations, which is driving the downward trend in citywide traffic fatalities.

Using new data, DOT is identifying new Priority Locations around the city. Some locations are receiving more in-depth interventions than they had previously, while new locations will receive critical safety upgrades. Places where crashes declined by the greatest margins will continue to be closely monitored.

As part of the lookback on first half-decade of Vision Zero and the first installment of borough plans, DOT evaluated which treatments to keep a focus on while adding several new actions for 2019.

New Actions for 2019

  • Add exclusive pedestrian crossing time (LPIs) at every feasible intersection on all new Priority Corridors by the end of 2019
  • Modify signal timing to reduce speeding on all feasible new Priority Corridors by the end of 2019
  • Launch Integrated Data-Driven Speed Reducer Program (speed humps & speed cushions)
  • Track Vision Zero Violations at the Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas
  • Launch a High Visibility Enforcement Program on Priority Corridors
  • Launch a targeted Corridor Outreach Program
  • Launch a Driveway Safety program to address issues with vehicles crossing sidewalks
  • Conduct a comprehensive study of senior pedestrian injuries
  • Collaborate with the Business Integrity Commission to improve the safety of commercial waste fleets

Actions To Be Maintained

  • Implement at least 50 Vision Zero safety engineering improvements annually on the updated Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas citywide
  • Add exclusive pedestrian crossing time to all feasible new Priority Intersections by the end of 2019
  • Prioritize targeted enforcement on Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas annually
  • Expand a bicycle network that improves safety for all road users
  • Install expanded speed limit signage on all new Priority Corridors in 2019
  • Target child and senior safety education at Priority Corridors and Priority Areas
  • Coordinate with MTA to ensure bus operations contribute to a safe pedestrian environment

The borough plans helped direct the $1.6 billion in Vision Zero resources to targeted areas: new engineering, including safety projects, protected bike lanes and pedestrian head-starts; new education efforts, including work by Vision Zero Street Teams and visits to schools and senior centers; and new enforcement, including a record number of traffic summonses issued by NYPD officers and the addition of school-zone speed cameras.

Dramatic Reduction in Fatalities and Severe Injuries
The DOT plans saw dramatic reductions in the numbers of pedestrians killed or seriously injured (KSI) in areas that received Vision Zero treatments. Among the dozens of streets cited were the following examples.

Bronx: 50 percent reduction in pedestrian KSI from Baychester Ave, from Hammersley Ave to Hoxie Street (2 miles)

  • Improvements included: Upgraded markings, New Pedestrian Crossings, Painted Curb Extensions, Pedestrian Refuge Islands, One-Way Conversion, Signal Timing Changes, Turn Bays, Turn Bans

Brooklyn: 50 percent reduction in pedestrian KSI on Bushwick Ave, from Maspeth Avenue to Jamaica Avenue (3.6 miles)

  • Improvements included: Bike Friendly Parking Lane, Upgraded markings, New Sidewalk, Painted Median, Pedestrian Refuge Islands, Signal Timing Changes

Manhattan: 40 percent reduction in pedestrian KSI on Adam C Powell Blvd from Central Park North to W 155th Street (2.4 miles)

  • Improvements included: Concrete Median Tips, Traffic-calming road diet which included the addition of bicycle lanes

Queens: 30 percent reduction in pedestrian KSI on Hillside Ave, from Myrtle Ave to Langdale Street (7.7 miles)

  • Improvements included: Concrete Curb Extension, Concrete Medians, Concrete Triangle, Lane Removal, Signal Timing Changes, Turn Bays

Staten Island: 18 percent reduction in pedestrian KSI on Richmond Ave, from Morningstar Rd to Fresh Kills Br (4.4 miles)

  • Improvements included: Bike Friendly Parking Lane Stripe, Concrete Median, Upgraded markings, Painted Median, Pedestrian Refuge Islands, Turn Ban

“I commend Mayor de Blasio for his continued efforts to prioritize pedestrian safety and today’s announcement to target some of the city’s most dangerous streets and intersections for pedestrian fatalities,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat. “By reevaluating hundreds of streets and intersections and implementing new safety measures, we will help strengthen preventative efforts along city streets, sidewalks, and popular destinations and help make high traffic areas safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.”

“The safety of our streets is paramount. I applaud Mayor de Blasio’s new Vision Zero Action Plan to help address the serious and chronic issues we face at the City’s most notoriously dangerous intersections, but we still have more work to do. Through effective policies, engineering, community engagement, and enforcement we can save lives and prevent injury. No one should have to cross their fingers while crossing the street, hoping to make it to the other side,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes.

“Preventing traffic fatalities and promoting the peaceful co-existence of pedestrians and motorists should be applauded,” said State Senator James Sanders Jr. “Vision Zero has made positive improvements in keeping New Yorkers safe and I look forward to its continued success in the future. Traffic fatalities may not be at zero yet, but the numbers are getting lower and that’s a good sign that we moving towards that ambitious but worthy goal.”

"Vision Zero is working. Our city has seen fewer traffic incidents since the plan went into effect. Pedestrian safety remains a top priority as we expand bike lanes and redirect traffic more efficiently. As New York City drivers slow down, our streets become safer. Vision Zero is for everyone,” said Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz.

"I am very interested in hearing what the Mayor is proposing to improve and enhance safety. I look forward to learning what measures the Mayor, the Department of Transportation and the NYPD will implement to address traffic concerns in my district like double parking and truck traffic,” said Assembly Member Peter J. Abbate.

"Vision Zero has helped save the lives of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers by dramatically reducing the number of accidents on the streets where it has been implemented. I applaud the mayor for expanding this program to an additional 293 intersections to ensure that we are all getting to and from where we need to go safely," said Assembly Member Harvey Epstein.

"The success of Vision Zero has been remarkable," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "But there's still more to be done, since any pedestrian death or injury is one too many. I applaud the Mayor and DOT for the steps being announced today, taking pedestrian safety to the next level."

“The data for traffic injuries and fatalities due to traffic crashes has been surprisingly high as we begin 2019. I thank Mayor De Blasio and DOT Commissioner Trottenberg for focusing on expanding traffic safety measures throughout the five boroughs to enhance the safety of pedestrians and cyclists when encountering busy intersections, and overall reduce the speed of vehicles and limit traffic fatalities. These street improvements will positively impact all residents. We must continue to move forward to meet our City’s Vision Zero goals by 2030 and as Chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee, I remain committed to that effort,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.

“Unfortunately, there is no known antidote for the driver who gets behind the wheel of their SUV and thinks they are the only person on the planet who matters. Whether it’s smarter street design, speed safety cameras, awareness, education and outreach or more enforcement against reckless driving, we must use every tool at our disposal to improve conditions for pedestrians of all ages and ability. I am dedicated to enhancing the safety, mobility and livability of our streets so they can be shared and enjoyed by all. Yes, it's about focusing on particular corners and corridors but its also about calling out and correcting a pervasive car culture where people are merely obstacles. Having a real candid community conversation about pedestrian safety is important. This is about saving lives. We can, and must, do better. I appreciate this Administration's commitment to Vision Zero,” said Council Member Justin Brannan.

“Keeping families and children safe in New York City streets is not without its challenges; and as a mother, I share a concern when it comes to street safety. There are ways to ensure that New Yorkers walking City streets are protected. Implementing action plans and collecting data is part of that process. I look forward to working with the City in ensuring that we keep residents in my district safe,” said Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel.

We are making it safer to be a pedestrian in this big city, block by block and intersection by intersection. The expansion of priority areas to include all of York Avenue is a welcome addition that will keep pedestrians safe," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "Since I was first elected we've worked with the Department of Transportation and the community to identify dangerous intersections and have seen great results on the initial priority corridors on 1st, 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and DOT Commission Polly Trottenberg for their commitment to Vision Zero and for using physical infrastructure to save lives."

“On behalf of the Upper West Side, we are extremely pleased to hear that the City is updating its Borough Pedestrian Safety plans, including the prioritization of Columbus Avenue in Manhattan. Step by step, we are returning control of our streets to pedestrians and compelling drivers to slow down. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Trottenberg, my colleagues on the Council and pedestrian safety advocates, who have all helped to make Vision Zero’s success possible,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.

"Our city learned a lot about how we can keep pedestrians safer from the data collected as a result of the original Borough Pedestrian Safety Plans. Now that information is being put to good use, informing a new series of updated plans that will provide the additional resources and safety measures necessary to reduce the risks to pedestrians and better protect our children, seniors, and families,” said Council Member Mark Treyger.

“We often say that one accident is one too many. By improving high-risk intersections, the Mayor's office and DOT are addressing pedestrian safety at the source. I thank them for continued investment in Vision Zero and look forward to its expansion,” said Council Member Keith Powers.

“New Yorkers 65 and over continue to be most at risk of being killed in pedestrian accidents. They accounted for half of all pedestrian fatalities in New York City in 2017 even though they make up just 14 percent of the city’s population, according to the March 2018 Vision Zero Four-Year Report. Previous Borough Pedestrian Plans have been proven to make streets safer, and we applaud Mayor de Blasio for his continued push to ensure the safety of pedestrians. Safe streets are key to making our communities age-friendly and livable for residents of all ages. AARP is particularly pleased with the Mayor’s plans for exclusive crossing times at 300 intersections for pedestrians, speed cameras in key locations, a comprehensive study of senior pedestrian injuries and additional senior safety education for priority corridors and areas. These are all great steps forward and have the full support of AARP,” said Beth Finkel, AARP NY State Director.

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