Earlier this year, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released the city’s third annual Vision Zero report, crediting the program with a three-year reduction in traffic fatalities, which reached an all-time low of 230 in 2016 despite double-digit trends upward for accidents nationwide. According to the city’s official website, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas M. Chan also touted the progress made under Vision Zero. Yet, despite a 23 percent decline in motor vehicle fatalities, making for “the safest year in history” in the five boroughs, the mayor promised “Vision Zero is just starting.” Mr. de Blasio announced that the city would invest an additional $400 million in Vision Zero, resulting in a total of $1.6 billion over the coming five years.
The report’s major themes were as follows:
- Data-driven efforts to reduce injuries and fatalities at targeted intersections and corridors have resulted in a 30 percent reduction of serious crashes in identified areas.
- Safe street redesigns of more than 240 safety projects and more than 30 miles of protected bike lanes have been completed since January 2014, while DOT has brightened more than 1,000 crosswalks, made crosswalks more visible, and added pedestrian head-starts to 1,248 intersections.
- Cross-agency evaluation and collaboration brought agencies together to identify and devise effective solutions to problems such as the surge in serious pedestrian crashes in the fall and winter evening hours.
- Increased NYPD enforcement against dangerous driving dramatically increased citations for speeding and failure to yield by 78 percent and 243 percent, respectively.
- Vision Zero safety training involved more than 70,000 vehicle operators under the aegis of the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), and the MTA.
- Increased engagement with the public included an award-winning advertising campaign and an active presence in senior centers and schools. These efforts included the Cross This Way curriculum for elementary and middle school students citywide.
As attorneys for victims of motor vehicle accidents throughout greater NYC, [ln::firm_name] applaud the administration’s efforts to reduce serious injuries and fatalities. There is no reason why the greatest city in the world should not also be the safest.