Tracking Progress: Vision Zero Year Four

The final year of Mayor De Blasio’s first term, 2017, was also the fourth complete year of the Vision Zero era. We continued to see unacceptably dangerous conditions on our neighborhood streets, with growing traffic injuries and flagging enforcement efforts. But on the most important measure, traffic fatalities, 2017 saw continued progress in Queens.

Fatalities. 2017 was the fourth consecutive year of decline for traffic fatalities in Queens. Total traffic fatalities in Queens are down by 35 percent, from 93 fatalities in 2013 to 60 fatalities in 2017. Pedestrian and cyclist fatalities also declined for the fourth consecutive year, a total of 37 percent from 54 fatalities in 2013 to 34 fatalities in 2017. Citywide, there was a 27 percent reduction in fatalities over the same four year period.

The chart above shows the progress that has been made in reducing traffic fatalities in Queens.

A partial list of the neighbors that we lost in 2017 is provided here.

Injuries. In 2017, there were 2,641 pedestrians injured in Queens by motor vehicles, a decline of 6% from the Vision Zero benchmark year, 2013 (but an increase of 1.3% from 2016). There have been 906 injuries to cyclists, a rise of 10% since 2013. Overall, including motor vehicle occupants, there have been 17,971 people injured in motor vehicle crashes in Queens over the past year, up 16% since 2013. Citywide, there has been a 8% increase in injuries over this time.

Enforcement. Overall, while enforcement of speeding, red light running, and not giving right of way to pedestrians remains significantly higher than pre-Vision Zero levels, tickets issued for illegal cell phone use, an important contributor to distracted driving, remains sharply down. Overall, enforcement across all four categories in Queens is up 16% since 2013. Citywide, enforcement is up 30%. Overall, the level of enforcement according to these measures is up about 9% in Queens relative to last year, the first sustained increase we’ve seen in several years.

For its own Vision Zero analysis, the city tracks a broader list of six categories of traffic violations, including Improper Turn, and Disobey Sign/Traffic Control Device. With these additional categories included, a clearer trend toward greater enforcement can be seen since 2013 (see chart below).

We continue to urge our representatives in the state legislature to authorize more urgently needed traffic safety cameras for the city.  And we continue to urge the NYPD to continue to increase its focus on enforcement

Full detailed report, with results by community board, available here.