Over less than a week, two pedestrian died and one was critically injured. On Monday morning, 15 year old Antonia Zalutovska was rolled over by a school bus who failed to yield to her (see previous blog). A few days before, on Thursday last week, one pedestrian died and another one suffered life threatening injuries in two separate reckless car accidents.
18 people died (8 pedestrians, 8 motorists, 1, cyclist, 1 passenger) and 4,434 were injured in NYC crashes in November 2021 compared to respectively 28 and 4,039 in 2020. The total number of auto fatalities was also lower than in October 2021 during which 28 people died in crashes in the city. While the pandemic changed the way people are commuting in the city, the number of traffic deaths which had exploded in November 2020, is back to a level similar to the last 3 previous years, hovering around 20. Globally, over the last 8 years, the NYC traffic fatalities trendline is declining, however it is the first time since last May that monthly traffic fatalities are actually below this trendline. (Click on graphs for full view)
Pedestrians and motorists represented most of the deaths with 8 of each category dying in crashes in November. Additionnally one cyclist and one passenger also died in crashes during that month. In November 2020, the high number of deaths was mostly caused by a much higher number of cyclists (6) and pedestrians (13) deaths, while the number of motorist and passenger deaths were lower and similar to November 2021 (6 and 1). November 21 was also a better month than October 21 during which 8 motorists, 5 passengers, 3 cyclists and 12 pedestrians lost their lives in crashes.
NYC Auto accident injuries remained lower than usual last November with 4,434 crash injuries compared to respectively 4,039, 4,733, 4,943, 4,892, 5,014, 4,357, 4,222 and 4,692 in November 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Before the pandemic, the monthly number of car accident injuries was usually above 4500 during the month of November. During the pandemic it dropped lower and as a result the trendline which was previously slightly increasing is now slightly decreasing.
Heavy pollution causing asthma to the population, deadly car accidents, no consideration for pedestrians and cyclists and racially biased, the Cross Bronx Expressway is in serious need of a revamp.
Activists who have have been asking for years for the 8-mile highway to be capped have finally been heard. This week, as part of the infrastructure bill, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttiegieg announced that $2 million will be invested in a study looking at the negative impacts of the Cross Bronx Expressway by capping it and building parks, investing in electrical vehicle chargers and creating safer options for cyclists and pedestrians.
Originally built and designed by Robert Moses, the Cross Bronx Expressway has not only displaced populations of Black and Latinos and destroyed their businesses but has also became a major health issue for those families of the South Bronx who live nearby.
After several bicycle accidents and multiple close calls between pedestrians and cyclists on the overcrowded Brooklyn Bridge, the DOT finally opened a new protected bike lane mid September. As a result, regular commuters who were avoiding the bridge because of the over crowding are making a massive come back. During the month of October, there was an average of 4,206 rides daily compared to 2,239 during October 2020. The daily rate of rides remained high and stable on the Manhattan Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge suggesting that more people made the decision to commute by bike now that the Brooklyn bridge has a separate protected bike lane. The Brooklyn bridge provides a direct access between Dumbo in Brooklyn and the financial district where many New Yorkers go to work daily.
Narrow bi-directional protected bike lane can feel crowded and dangerous when traffic is busy
While separating the bike lane from the pedestrians was already a major step in improving bike riding safety on the Brooklyn Bridge, the 8 foot wide two-way bike lane remains extremely tight. Recommendations from The National Association of Transportation suggest a minimum 12 feet wide for bidirectional bike lanes. With the surge not only in regular bicycles but also in various types of e-bikes, e-scooters and cargo-bikes, it can sometimes be dangerous for people to cross on the 8 feet wide bike lane. Cargo bikes that have been promoted by the city to reduce truck traffic are wider than 4 feet and can create collision risks. Additionally, people on moppeds that are not supposed to be on bike lanes break the rules and use a considerable amount of space while passing cyclists and create additional risks of accidents on a tight bike lane. It will also be interesting to see if, now the borders are re-opened, if tourists on bikes decide to use the bridge… the tight lanes do not really allow for a picture stop.
During the third quarter of 2021, a total of 71 people died in crashes in New York City including 24 pedestrians, 5 cyclists, 9 passengers and 33 motorists. Since the Covid19 crisis started, auto accident fatalities in New York City have peaked and street safety activists are pointing fingers at the de Blasio administration for failing to keep the streets safe.
A total of 14,335 people were injured in traffic accidents in New York City during Q3 2021 compared to respectively 13,437, 16,083, 16,300, 15,860, 16,048, 13,998, 13,472, 14,900 during Q3 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013. Before 2015, the passengers category was the one with the most injuries with usually between 5,000 and 6,000 passenger injuries during Q3. In 2015 after the introduction of the Vision Zero program, passenger injuries significantly declined to 4,121 while motorist injuries jumped from 4,502 to 6,043. The increase in motorist injuries is linked to an increase in accidents related to distracted driving and more and more people using their cellphone while driving. After the first year of Vision Zero, passenger injuries during Q3 went back above 5,000 and then, back below 5,000 after the Covid19 crisis hit in 2020. Motorist injuries, mostly linked to distracted driving continued to rise reaching a record high in 2019 with 7,437 motorists injured during Q3.
6,349 motorists were injured in car accidents in New York City during the third quarter of 2021 compared to 5,931 for the same period of 2020 and 7,437 for the same period of 2019. Motor vehicle accident injuries reached a peak during Q3 2019 in New York City and then dropped to levels never seen since 2014 when the Covid19 crisis hit. They were up during this year’s Q3 but not as high as what they used to be during Q3 2019.
A SUV driver struck a pedestrian in Brooklyn, NYC, and while he remained at the scene of the accident, the pedestrian who was hit, vanished from the accident scene. When EMS arrived, they looked for him but could not find him. The accident occurred in Bath Beach. The SUV driver was making a right turn from Bath Avenue onto Bay Parkway when he struck the pedestrian. He remained at the scene of the accident and was not charged. The next day, the police were called for someone injured in a house and found the 52 year old pedestrian dead in his apartment. They found out that the pedestrian stumbled home and suffered a massive head injury that killed him. Read more in the NY Daily News
While still on a declining trendline, over the past 8 years, NYC pedestrian fatalities have been on the rise this year compared to the previous years. 66 pedestrians died between January 1st and July 31st this year compared to 57 during the same period of last year and 57 during the same period of 2018.
Spike of pedestrian fatalities in New York City
A pedestrian crossing the street in the Bronx was fatally struck by a MTA bus last night around 8:30 pm. The bus driver was making a left turn at the intersection of Johnson Avenue and Kappock Street in New York City, when he struck a 68 year old woman whose identity has not been revealed by the police.
The victim was run over by the rear wheels of the bus and died at the scene of the accident.
The tragedy occurred in a residential area of Spuyten Duyvil where bus drivers should expect pedestrians and drive cautiously. According to officials, the driver has been withheld from further service and will have to take a fitness for duty test. (Read more in the NY Daily News)
8 pedestrians, 3 cyclists, 4 motor vehicle passengers, and 13 motor vehicle drivers died in auto accidents in New York City during the month of July. Usually, monthly pedestrian deaths account for the largest share of the road fatalities in New York City but since the pandemic started, monthly motorist deaths often account for the biggest part of the motor vehicle accident fatalities in the city. As a result of this increase in motorist fatalities, since the end of the lockdown, the number of auto deaths was above 20 for 9 months out of 14. As a comparison, in 2019, it was above 20 only twice during the entire year and in 2018, only once during the entire year. Speed and recklessness have been a factor in many of these deaths as well as an increased amount of New Yorkers travelling by car instead of public transportation because of Covid19 fears.
NYC traffic accident deaths in the month of July reached their highest since July 2014 with 28 fatalities. Since June last year, road fatalities have been out of control in New York City. For the 4th consecutive month, auto accident fatalities remained above 20 and significantly above the trendline. These high numbers of fatalities had not been seen since 2013 before Vision Zero started.
Traffic accident injuries lower than before the pandemic
A 6 year old pedestrian was killed by a reckless driver in New York City yesterday afternoon.
Little Hiromi Tami was crossing the street with her mother near the intersection of 12th Avenue and 67th Street in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn when 30 old year old Qiuhua Zhu sped into oncoming traffic, blew a red light and slammed into the little girl. He then sped away, circled the block, came back and was arrested by the police. All 3 of them were living in the neighborhood where the accident took place.
Mother devastated by the accident
A 23 year old New York pedestrian died and 5 others were injured in two separate hit-and-run accidents.
20 year old Aniya Blandon died in a in hit-and-run accident in Brooklyn on Monday. The young woman was standing at a bus stop with her husband when a driver who was apparently drag racing, lost control of the vehicle, jumped the curb and hit them. Her husband, 23 year old Kevon Westley tried to push her out of the way but it was too late. The wife and husband were both on their way to work. Kevon was planning on dropping his wife at the dollar store where she works with her cousin before going to work as maintenance person at the Philip Howard Apartments in Brooklyn. As they were waiting for the bus at Utica Ave. and Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, Kevon saw a first car passing by at high speed, then the second one followed, hit a bump and drifted toward them. Kevon tried to push Aniya out of the way and then passed out. He woke up in the ambulance and was later on diagnosed with a concussion and multiple injuries to his arm, leg and foot. When he woke up in the ambulance, his wife was still alive but passed away shortly after. A witness to the accident saw the two cars racing and saw one of them jumping the curb and hitting a utility pole that fell on Aniya and hit her in the head. The driver of the car took off on foot.
A day before, on Sunday evening, in Washington Heights, Manhattan, a hit and run driver slammed into two women and two children who were crossing the street. One of the pedestrians, a 36 year old woman suffered traumatic brain injury and was listed in critical condition. The two children a 9 year old and an eight year old boy suffered minor injuries. The police are still looking for the driver of the Mercedes Benz who sped away after slamming into them.