New York City Recorded Its Lowest Number of Traffic Fatalities in 2016

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Under Vision Zero, the mayor has pledged to end traffic fatalities by 2024. Photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office.

Traffic deaths fell for the third straight year in New York City in 2016, setting the record for lowest number of fatalities on record. Last year, 230 people were killed in traffic incidents, down from 234 in 2015. The year-to-year dip is pretty small, but altogether, the city has notched a 23 percent decrease in traffic-related deaths since the de Blasio administration launched Vision Zero in 2014, with the goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2024.

But it isn’t all great news. Pedestrian deaths rose from 139 in 2015 — the safest year for pedestrians on city streets since 1910 — to 145, and cyclist fatalities ticked up from 14 to 18 in 2016. Advocates say these statistics, and the relatively tiny decline overall, show there’s a lot more work to be done, even as Vision Zero has made significant investments in safe streets since its inception. Traffic enforcement is way up. The city installed 18.5 miles of protected bike lanes in 2016. And the Department of Transportation has put in more than 1,200 Leading Pedestrian Intervals, or LPIs — and 776 in 2016 alone — which gives walkers a head start to cross before the light changes green for drivers.

NYC Recorded Its Lowest Number of Traffic Deaths in 2016