Mayor Adams’ administration has made strides in reducing violent crime rates and enhancing street cleanliness in New York City, yet faces challenges with police response times, street safety infrastructure, and processing financial aid applications, as revealed in the latest Preliminary Mayor’s Management Report.
During the first four months of fiscal year 2024, starting in July, the city saw a decline in major felony crimes by 3% and a significant drop in the murder rate by 21%.
Despite these improvements, the city experienced a slowdown in police response times to serious crimes by an average of 40 seconds, attributed to traffic issues and a reduction in police personnel.
The period also marked a 60% increase in civilian complaints against the police and a nearly 70% rise in reported quality-of-life violations.
Mayor Adams, who has prioritized law and order, highlighted the overall progress in public safety and economic recovery, stating, “Crime is down, jobs are up.”
His administration also celebrated advancements in environmental efforts, including a doubling of new tree plantings and maintaining high levels of trash collection, servicing over 100,000 more litter baskets compared to the previous year.
“Two years later, New Yorkers’ quality of life is undoubtedly improving,” Adams affirmed.
However, the city is lagging in its ambitious goals for enhancing street safety.
Adams had previously committed to constructing 300 miles of bike lanes and 150 miles of bus lanes within four years.
However, the report from Tuesday, January 30th, revealed ongoing challenges the city faces in reaching those targets. Within four months, the city managed to construct 22 miles of bike lanes and nine miles of bus lanes.
According to the report, there were 93 traffic deaths in the city during this period, a number that mirrors the count from the same timeframe last year. But, the death rate for bicyclists and motorcyclists increased by over 30%.
The administration also grapples with delays in processing applications for cash assistance, with only 14% of applications processed within the mandated 30-day period, a significant drop from over 95% in 2021. This decrease is attributed to a surge in applications, indicating a rising need among New Yorkers facing poverty.
Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom and Social Services Department spokeswoman Neha Sharma acknowledged the challenges but insisted on progress in managing the backlog of applications, citing increased staffing and ongoing efforts to improve processing times.
Nevertheless, City Councilman Lincoln Restler criticized the administration for failing to meet the urgent needs of New Yorkers.
Restler said, “The significant majority of struggling New Yorkers are getting no answer on their applications for these federally funded entitlements for over a month.”