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Pedestrian Deaths Down in NYC

There’s good news for bicyclists and pedestrians in New York City: the streets are slowly becoming safer when it comes to vehicular traffic.

The New York Times reports that Queens Boulevard, a busy thoroughfare that has claimed 186 lives since 1990, has not had a single fatality since 2014. A large part of this recent downturn in pedestrian deaths is due to the efforts of Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose ambitious Vision Zero initiative has proven that proactive measures and safety improvements can help prevent needless accidents and deaths.

Queens Boulevard no longer a death zone

Once known as the “Boulevard of Death” Queens Blvd. is no longer one of the city’s deadliest streets. Mayor de Blasio says the moniker should be changed to the “Boulevard of Life,” a testament to the progress of Vision Zero. The ultimate goal is to eliminate all traffic deaths, which Blasio deems to be entirely preventable. Despite a stalled take-off, the campaign has garnered praise for its impressive roster of changes, including the lowering of the speed limit to 25 miles per hour on major arteries like Queens Boulevard.

In addition, the City poured substantial financial resources into the redesign of Queens Boulevard, with a view toward reducing pedestrian dangers. More than $4 million was invested in adding more crosswalks, median waiting areas, bike lanes, and high-tech cameras to catch speeding motorists. Engineers also re-tooled the 10 car lanes to mitigate the congestion between local and through traffic.

For residents like Lizi Rahman, whose 22-year-old-son was mowed down by a truck while riding a bike on Queens Boulevard 10 years ago, the changes have come a little late.  Since her son’s fatal accident, she has been a strong advocate for bike lanes on the well-traveled artery. “It won’t bring my son back, “ she told The Times. “Maybe other people will be safe.” Next year will see even bigger changes to the so-called Boulevard of Life, with the addition of wider, tree-lined medians, a continuous path for pedestrians and lots of benches.

Other dangerous streets still need attention

According to deputy director of Transportation Alternatives Caroline Samponaro, New York City still has “plenty” of other hazardous streets in need of attention. As the de Blasio administration continues its work on Vision Zero, this past year’s traffic deaths are suggestive of a positive trend.

As of late November 2017, NYC had 198 total traffic fatalities, a slight decline from the same time of the previous year. Ninety-two of these deaths involved pedestrians and 19 involved bicyclists.

Anyone has ever been knocked down by a vehicle while on foot or bicycle, knows the life-changing injuries that can result. Broken bones, concussions, and traumatic brain injury are just some of the types of harm regularly inflicted upon victims.

If you or someone you love is in need of an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in New York, we invite you to contact Edelman, Krasin & Jaye for a free case review.

Our attorneys provide superior legal representation to residents throughout Long Island and the greater NYC area, and can outline your options for maximum financial recovery. Call our offices at 1.800.469.7429 to get started today.

Additional Resources:

  1. New York Times, No Longer New York City’s ‘Boulevard of Death’ https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/03/nyregion/queens-boulevard-of-death.html?_r=0
  2. New York Times, De Blasio Outlines Steps to Eliminate Traffic Deaths https://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/19/nyregion/de-blasio-unveils-plans-to-eliminate-traffic-deaths.html?_r=0