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USA: Vision Zero helped reduce pedestrian deaths in NYC by 45%

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Vision Zero initiative Traffic safety Equity in transportation Data-driven strategies Safer street redesigns

The Vision Zero safer city streets initiative in New York City has made considerable progress in reducing pedestrian deaths, according to reports. Eight of the ten safest years on record took place during the city’s Vision Zero era, according to NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.

Vision Zero History and Data

Since Vision Zero began in 2014, New York City has finished more than 1,200 safety projects. The initiative has combined engineering, education, and enforcement to improve the safety and equality of NYC’s streets for all residents.

When comparing data from 2023 to 2013, the year before Vision Zero’s launch, total traffic deaths decreased by more than 12 %, with pedestrian deaths falling by 45 percent.

New York City has embraced automated enforcement of more harmful traffic offenses like speeding and red light running since the implementation of Vision Zero.

In order to best inform road safety efforts, Vision Zero agencies keep a close eye on where, when, and how traffic fatalities and injuries happen. An entire decrease in pedestrian deaths as well as decreases in deaths in neighborhoods with a high percentage of non-white residents are the results of the data-driven approach NYC DOT uses to protect vulnerable street users.

The city has worked to use technology to better inform data collection and analysis in order to accomplish this. For instance, in 2016, the NYPD started remotely recording collisions, which expanded the capabilities for traffic data analysis.

NYC Comprehensive Approach to Traffic Injury Surveillance

The Health Department of New York City also improves traffic injury surveillance by incorporating health equity and person-based measures with open health data sources. These goods include:

  • Epidemiologic reports on the characteristics of those hurt in deadly traffic accidents, such as age, sex, race/ethnicity, and neighborhood poverty.
  • indicators from the Environment and Health Data Portal that categorize injuries to pedestrians and cyclists by neighborhood of residence.
  • A manuscript on self-reported speeding by driver characteristics that has been look reviewed.
  • To advance traffic safety research, Six Research on the Road symposia collaborated with sister Vision Zero organizations and DDC’s Town+Gown: NYC.

The city has been in charge of 349 Vision Zero initiatives since the program’s inception, 97 of which were led by the NYC DOT. More than 200 miles of guarded bike lanes have been installed, and the agency has finished more than 1,200 safety projects. The implementation of 24-hour speed camera operations and the city’s 25 mph speed limit have both significantly reduced irresponsible driving.

Additionally, the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS ) has made more than 85, 000 safety improvements to City fleet vehicles since the Vision Zero Safe Fleet Transition Plan was introduced in 2017. These improvements include the installation of truck side-guards to further protect pedestrians and bicyclists, Intelligent Speed Assistance technology to slow down City vehicles, and surround cameras to address visual obstructions. The second citywide system for tracking crashes and trends among City fleet vehicles was implemented by DCAS in 2014. Since then, the organization has seen over 20 % decreases in collisions and injuries.

The city has fairly chosen locations for Street Improvement Projects ( SIPs ), safety-oriented engineering improvements that use a variety of treatments like street redesigns, traffic signals, markers, or concrete on both corridors and intersections. These projects are designed to address areas with the greatest safety and transportation needs. These redesigns typically aim to organize traffic, shorten travel times, create shorter, safer pedestrian crossings, and improve bicycle travel routes. According to initial NYC DOT data, neighborhoods with large populations of non-white residents have received a higher share of street redesign miles than those with the lowest populations.

NYC Equitable Street Redesigns

In order to guarantee that all New Yorkers gain from healthy street redesigns, NYC DOT has codified its commitment to equity through the creation of a new equity formula. Based on demographics, density, and prior levels of NYC DOT investment, the formula determines Priority Investment Areas ( PIAs ). Since implementing this formula at the end of 2021, NYC DOT has built a number of safety measures, including: 137 Street Improvement Projects in the major PIAs.

  • 22.1 miles of bike lanes that are protected, a lane that is parked, or another natural obstruction
  • New walking spaces totaling more than 900,000 square feet have been built, including pedestrian plazas, curb and sidewalk extensions, walking safety islands, and medians.
  • A pedestrian crossing “head start” is provided by the installation of 544 Major Pedestrian Intervals before vehicles receive the natural light.
  • Raised Crosswalks, which have 55 intersections that have been upgraded, have a marked pedestrian crosswalk built higher than the nearby road.
  • 101 intersections are daylighted and have better visibility.

Black and Latino road users suffered disproportionately as a result of the coronavirus pandemic’s increase in traffic fatalities. Traffic fatalities among these populations have decreased under the Adams administration, with a 36 percent decline in deaths involving Black victims since the administration’s inception.

According to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, traffic safety is a matter of public safety, and everyone who uses our roads—including drivers, cyclists, delivery workers, pedestrians—deserves healthy streets. I want to applaud DOT and its partner agencies for their unwavering commitment to the crucial mission of defending our own New Yorkers as we approach 10 years of Vision Zero in the city.

According to NYC Chief Fleet Officer Keith Kerman,” Redesigning trucks and vehicles for safety is a crucial complement to the redesign of roadways.” “DCAS has made modifications to protect the front, sides, and up of vehicles and trucks, as well as to closely monitor fleet operations at all times. We are urging fleets all over the world to follow our lead in installing truck side guards, telematic systems, smart speed assistance, prohibiting drivers from using their hands-free phones, and addressing visible obstruction caused by trucks. As we continue to concentrate on reducing vehicle crashes and injuries, these improvements with the city fleet will continue.

According to Ydanis Rodriguez, commissioner of transportation for the New York City Department of Transportation,” through Vision Zero, we’ve saved lives and made our streets safer for everyone.” We’re committed to making sure that everyone in New York benefits from these programs. We have increased Vision Zero’s commitment to equity as a result of the Adams Administration. When choosing projects, we give underrepresented communities top priority, and we have finished more projects there than anywhere else.

According to Department for the Ageing Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez,” The ability to walk comfortably is a crucial component of building an age-inclusive city, and Vision Zero has been an important initiative to help ensure New Yorkers can move around carefully and maintain their independence as they age.” ” Since Vision Zero was introduced ten years back, there has been innovation to ensure the safety of older adults, such as the older adult community audit teams that inform the Department of Transportation of their concerns and needs, and where extra traffic calming devices are needed.” Additionally, No Standing Zones have increased around older adult centers under Vision Zero, making those blocks easier to walk on.

Matthew Boyle

Matthew Boyle is a distinguished Smart City Consultant, renowned for his expertise in IoT (Internet of Things) and cutting-edge urban technology solutions. With a deep understanding of Smart City initiatives, Matthew excels in leveraging IoT innovations to transform urban landscapes into efficient, sustainable, and connected environments. His strategic insights and hands-on experience in urban planning, data analytics, and IoT implementation make him a trusted expert in the field. Matthew Boyle is your go-to consultant for navigating the complex world of Smart Cities, ensuring seamless integration of IoT technologies, and unlocking the potential of data-driven urban solutions. With his guidance, your city can thrive in the digital age, enhancing quality of life and fostering a sustainable future.

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