There has been a dramatic upsurge in cyclist fatalities this year. In July, the city released a new strategy to accelerate development of bicycle infrastructure and improve street safety for all. In the near term, they will focus on ten specific neighborhoods that lack adequate safety infrastructure. This seems an appropriate time for a mid-year check-in on Vision Zero progress in Queens.
Fatalities. Through the end of July, there have been 38 traffic fatalities in Queens in 2018. Some of the neighbors we lost this year have included:
- Xiu Xi Pu, 80, Pedestrian, killed February 5 in crosswalk at 251st Street and 63rd Avenue in Little Neck (111th Precinct); driver charged with driving without a license, failure to yield and failure to use due care causing a serious injury (Streetsblog).
- Sherena Hundalani, 26, Pedestrian, killed February 24 on sidewalk at Queens Boulevard and 63rd Road in Rego Park (112th Precinct); hit-and-run by taxi, no charges filed (Streetsblog, 2).
- Robert Spencer, 53, Cyclist, killed March 14 at Borden Avenue and Second Street in Long Island City (108th Precinct); no charges (Streetsblog).
- Unidentified pedestrian, killed April 5 in crosswalk by turning vehicle at Brookville Boulevard and Sunrise Highway in Rosedale (113th Precinct); driver charged with driving without a license, failure to yield and failure to use due care causing a serious injury (Streetsblog).
- Cameron Brown, 7, Pedestrian, killed on April 17th while exiting school bus at Gipson Street in Far Rockaway (101st Precinct); no charges (Streetsblog).
- Unidentified pedestrian, killed June 23 at Main Street between 59th and 60th Ave. in Flushing (109th Precinct); no charges (Streetsblog).
In the 12 months ending July 2019, there have been 72 overall traffic fatalities in Queens, down 23% from the 93 people killed in 2013, the Vision Zero benchmark year. Citywide, there has been a 24% decline in fatalities in this time.
In the first 7 months of 2019, there were 38 overall traffic fatalities in Queens, up from 35 fatalities over the same period in 2018. The number of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities through July has fallen from 23 in 2018 to 18 in 2019.
Injuries. In the 12 months ending in July 2019, there have been 2,677 pedestrians injured in Queens by motor vehicles, a decline of 4% from the Vision Zero benchmark year, 2013. In the same time, there have been 858 injuries to cyclists, an increase of 4% since 2013. Overall, including motor vehicle occupants, there have been 19,202 people injured in motor vehicle crashes in Queens over the past year, up 24% since 2013. Citywide, there has been a 12% increase in injuries over this time. Overall since 2013, Queens and the Bronx have seen the greatest percent increase in traffic-related injuries among the five boroughs.
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. Enforcement across all four categories in Queens is up 20% since 2013. Citywide, enforcement is up 22%.