Tracking Progress: Vision Zero Year Nine

We took a bit of a hiatus during COVID, but with the near year it seemed like a good time to revisit the borough’s progress on Vision Zero.   2022 marked the ninth year of the Vision Zero era, which was launched in 2014 by Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the first full year of Eric Adams’ term as Mayor of the City of New York. While traffic fatalities in Queens remained lower in 2022 than before the Vision Zero era, they have shown no consistent downward progress since 2018.  Safety-related traffic enforcement efforts by NYPD remain dramatically lower than before Vision Zero launched.

Fatalities.  Total traffic fatalities in Queens have fallen by 22 percent, from 93 fatalities in 2013 to 73 fatalities in 2022. Pedestrian fatalities have declined 33 percent from 52 fatalities in 2013 to 35 fatalities in 2022. Cyclist deaths have remained steady at two fatalities per year.  Citywide, there was a 12 percent reduction in overall traffic fatalities over the same nine-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 2022 is provided here.

Injuries. In 2022, there were 2,130 pedestrians injured in Queens by motor vehicles, a decline of 24% from the Vision Zero benchmark year, 2013. There have been 813 injuries to cyclists, a decrease of 2% since 2013. Overall, including motor vehicle occupants, there have been 14,065 people injured in motor vehicle crashes in Queens over the past year, down 9% since 2013. Citywide, there has been a 8% reduction in injuries over this time.

Enforcement. The overall effort of police officers in Queens toward ticketing motorists for dangerous and reckless driving behaviors is far lower today than it was before Vision Zero was launched in 2014 (see chart below).  While enforcement of speeding and not yielding right of way to pedestrians remain significantly higher than pre-Vision Zero levels, tickets issued for illegal cell phone use, disobeying red lights, disobeying signs/traffic control devices, and improper turns remain sharply down. Enforcement across all six categories in Queens is down 36% since 2013, which is even more extreme than the overall 27% drop in enforcement citywide.

A detailed report, with results by community board and borough, is available here.