New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday, November 30th, an initiative to significantly increase traffic safety measures by doubling the number of intersection redesigns from 1,000 to over 2,000.
The initiative focuses on reengineering intersections and implementing proven strategies to prevent traffic-related fatalities.
The plan includes making safety improvements at double the current rate, featuring lifesaving visibility enhancements through a method known as daylighting.
The Adams administration’s announcement follows a hit-and-run accident last week that killed a 3-year-old boy in Brooklyn.
The primary strategy, daylighting, will be implemented at least 1,000 intersections each year.
Daylighting improves visibility by removing parking spots near intersections, a critical factor considering that 50% of traffic fatalities and 70% of injuries occur at intersections.
A total of 88 pedestrians have lost their lives in the city this year.
There were 235 traffic fatalities in 2023, marking a 27% increase compared to the same period in 2018, which was noted as the safest year under Vision Zero by the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.
On Wednesday evening, a sedan exiting a parking lot struck and killed a 3-year-old boy who was crossing the street mid-block. The vehicle involved in the incident fled the scene.
This incident occurred just one month after a 7-year-old child was also fatally struck at a crosswalk in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, by an NYPD tow truck.
Mayor Adams emphasized the importance of new safety measures, stating, “Protecting New Yorkers is my most sacred responsibility as mayor, and that holds true for traffic violence just as much as any other form of violence. Our streets must be safe places for all New Yorkers — pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists alike.”
The initiative also includes the integration of traffic violence into the NYPD’s CompStat reporting, treating it as a serious crime.
Additionally, the Department of Transportation will enhance its data collection on traffic fatalities, categorizing them into 11 distinct types, increasing from the current five.
This data will be accessible to the public via the NYPD’s CompStat 2.0 online dashboard starting Monday, January 1st.
Another key plan component is installing intelligent speed assistance (ISA) technology in city vehicles, including 50 school buses, to ensure safer travel for young New Yorkers.
This decision comes after a pilot program with ISA technology resulted in a 20% decrease in city vehicle crashes.
Fabiola Mendieta-Cuapio from Families for Safe Streets praised the initiative, saying, “Today’s announcement will save lives. We know that the single best way to prevent traffic deaths is through design and policy changes, and we’re grateful that the Adams administration will be implementing proven solutions like daylighting and safety technology.”