Zero Vision Zero: Streets Deadlier Now Than When De Blasio Started

Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2014 set a goal to eliminate traffic fatalities from New York City. Now, with de Blasio preparing to leave office, more people are dying on the city's streets than when he made that announcement.

2 minute read

October 4, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Traffic Safety Advocates

New Yorkers rally for slower speed limits outside Prospect Park. / Dmitry Gudkov

New York City is facing the deadliest year on city streets in nearly a decade—and some victims and advocates are wondering what became of Mayor Bill de Blasio's promise at the beginning of his administration to eliminate traffic fatalities.

"When Mr. de Blasio took office nearly eight years ago, one of his most ambitious promises was to tame New York City’s deadly streets, where nearly 300 people had been killed in traffic deaths just the year before, writes Winnie Hu in an article for The New York Times.

"The city has not delivered on its pledge. As Mr. de Blasio gets ready to step down in January, the streets are more dangerous than they were when his tenure began," adds Hu.

" At least 189 people — including 87 pedestrians and 12 cyclists — have been killed by crashes on city streets through Sept. 14, up nearly 26 percent from the same period last year and the highest number of deaths in that period since 2013, according to city records."

The feature-length article tells the stories of some f those who lost their lives, and their loved ones who are left to pick up the pieces, as well as detailing some of the political challenges of implementing new enforcement techniques and technology.

The article notes the early successes of the city's approach to re-engineering streets while also more strictly enforcing traffic laws, "with a five-year decline in traffic deaths to 205 in 2018, the lowest level in more than a century."

While reckless driving during the pandemic is one factor in the rising number of deaths, so too is the increasing size of vehicles, according to the article.

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