Transportation Alternatives: 2024 was the deadliest start to a year since start of Vision Zero

The city's Department of Transportation says they are working on it, saying they have daylighted 1,000 intersections in 2023, while listing 12 new protected bike lanes that are scheduled to be installed in Brooklyn this year.

Greg Thompson

Apr 30, 2024, 9:55 PM

Updated 22 days ago

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A new report from traffic safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives has found that the first three months of 2024 were the deadliest first quarter since New York City started its "Vision Zero" campaign - and that Brooklyn was hit especially hard.
"This should be a sobering call to the [Mayor Eric] Adams administration to correct course," says Elizabeth Adams, Transportation Alternative's deputy executive director for public affairs.
In a statement, the city says the numbers are a little skewed by a New Year's Day crash that killed five people but agrees with the report that the increased use of small vehicles with less protection - like mopeds, scooters and bikes - and increased size of cars has made the roads more dangerous.
Because of this, Elizabeth Adams says that "we can't just roll out the same playbook we did ten years ago, and so that means we need to update and adapt."
Still, Transportation Alternatives does not view Vision Zero as a failure, instead, telling News 12 that it just needs more support from City Hall.
Transportation Alternatives points out that where safety measures have gone into effect, they seem to have worked - city data shows that none of the cyclist deaths this year have happened in places with protected bike lanes. The city is supposed to be installing 50 miles of those every year, but according to Transportation Alternatives' website, they have not been meeting those goals.
According to Adams, it comes down to political will, as "We're just not seeing the city move fast enough. We need the mayor to really implement street safety measure now, we have to have a protected network that keeps everyone safe... not on one block or another, or in one neighborhood, or in one zip code," says Elizabeth Adams.
In particular, Transportation Alternatives also mentions the need for more "daylighting" - which is the practice of keeping the area up to an intersection clear, which improves visibility. A report from the advocacy group shows that 89 percent of pedestrian deaths in the first quarter happened in places without any daylights, while all of them were in places that lacked a physical daylighting barrier.
"None of these things are by accident," says Elizabeth Adams. "They're really a choice, and so really it's about commitment, investment, the resources are there."
The city's Department of Transportation says they are working on it, saying they have daylighted 1,000 intersections in 2023, while listing 12 new protected bike lanes that are scheduled to be installed in Brooklyn this year.


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