Just The Facts: Our Work By The Numbers


When you’re working to convince neighbors, elected officials and journalists about the need for better transit, street design and traffic enforcement, it helps to have some good statistics at the ready. Here are some of the facts T.A. staffers cite most often, with links to the sources, so you can be even more persuasive!


Traffic Fatalities and Serious Injuries| Unsafe Speed| Failure to Yield to Pedestrians| Solutions: Bike Lanes| Solutions: Bike Share| Solutions: Bus Rapid Transit| Solutions: Public Plazas

Traffic Fatalities and Serious Injuries

  • More New Yorkers are now killed in traffic than murdered by guns.1
  • A New Yorker is killed in a crash every 33 hours.2
  • Traffic is the leading cause of injury-related death for children, and after falls, the most common cause of injury-related death for seniors.3
  • For every eight traffic fatalities, New Yorkers suffer 100 life-altering serious injuries—nearly 34,000 over the past eight years—including the loss of limb, immobility, traumatic brain injury or chronic pain.4
  • One third of city residents say someone they know has been seriously injured or killed in a crash, or that they themselves have been seriously injured in traffic.5
  • Major streets like Queens Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue make up only 15 percent of our city’s road network, but they are the site of more than half of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.6

Unsafe Speed

  • Speeding kills more New Yorkers than drunk driving and cell phone use at the wheel combined.7
  • A pedestrian hit by a vehicle traveling 30 mph is twice as likely to die as a person struck at New York City’s new default speed limit of 25 mph. A pedestrian hit by a speeding driver going 40 mph is more than 5 times more likely to die than if hit at 25 mph. And at 20mph –- the speed limit our residential areas should have –- there’s a 98 percent chance a pedestrian in a collision will live.8
  • A 25 mph speed limit also helps prevent crashes. If a driver is traveling at 25 mph and suddenly has to put on the brakes, the distance needed to come to full stop is 45 feet shorter than if the vehicle were going 30 mph.9
  • In the City of London, the rate of crash-related deaths and serious injuries within 20-mph residential zones dropped by 42 percent. Nearby streets also saw declines in crashes.10
  • Children under 12 are developmentally incapable of accurately perceiving the speed of an oncoming car if it is traveling faster than 20mph.11

Failure to Yield to Pedestrians

  • A study of 1,400 pedestrians and cyclists treated at Bellevue Hospital Center after collisions found that half of pedestrians were struck while they were in the crosswalk, with the light, or while they were on the sidewalk.12
  • According to the NYC DOT, 27 percent of the pedestrians who are killed or seriously injured in traffic crashes are killed by turning drivers who failed to yield the right of way.13



Solutions

Virtually two-thirds of voters in every borough say they support bringing Complete Street redesigns to their neighborhoods. Support is highest among Bronx voters: 77 percent want safer road designs that include protected bike lanes and pedestrian islands.5

86 percent of all voters surveyed, and 82 percent of car-owning voters, say they support “the city installing more speeding enforcement cameras in school zones.”5


Bike Lanes

  • There are 6,000 miles of streets in New York City and over 12,000 miles of sidewalks, making up about 80 percent of the city’s public space.14 More than 350 miles of bike lanes have been added since 2007 -- contributing to more than 700 miles of bike lanes in New York City.
  • After the redesign of Manhattan’s First and Second avenues to include dedicated lanes for both buses and bikes, the corridors saw a 177 percent increase in bicycle volumes and a 37 percent drop in the number of injury crashes.15
  • First and Second avenues also saw a 47 percent drop in commercial vacancies.16

Bike Share

During its first 100 days, the Citi Bike system saw 3.2 million trips, averaging 30,000 miles daily. Riders traveled more than 6.8 million miles -- roughly equivalent to 275 trips around the world or 29 trips to the moon.17

Bus Rapid Transit

Neighborhoods without subway access have seen significant population growth over the past 25 years, but residents have the longest commutes in the city, because of the slow average speed of existing bus lines. A BRT system with dedicated bus lanes would empower New Yorkers by helping them access places of employment and other much-needed economic opportunities.
  • Boroughs outside Manhattan have the longest commute times in the country. 750,000 New York City workers currently commute over an hour each way to work, with two-thirds of these individuals traveling to jobs where they earn less than $35,000 annually.18
  • When the MTA’s Select Bus Service debuted on Fordham Road in the Bronx, the new SBS line quickly achieved a 20 percent increase in bus speeds and a 10 percent increase in ridership.19
  • Locally-based businesses along the Fordham Road line also experienced a 71 percent increase in retail sales.20

Public Plazas

After the north end of Union Square was redesigned with a bike lane and a pedestrian plaza, speeding on nearby streets decreased by 16 percent, and the number of injury crashes fell by 26 percent.21

Plazas are also good for business. According to a 2013 DOT study:
  • Sales around Downtown Brooklyn’s Willoughby Plaza were up 47 percent after the addition of pedestrian space, and several local and national chains have opened locations around the plaza.22 The area around the Pearl Street plaza saw a 172 percent increase in retail sales.24
  • Since bike lanes and pedestrian infrastructure have gone in along 9th Ave in Manhattan, sales along the corridor easily outpaced both the borough and all comparison sites, with area businesses seeing a 49 percent boost in retail sales.24
  • In the Bronx, businesses around The Hub saw a 50 percent increase in sales by the third year after a confusing intersection was redesigned to include more pedestrian space.25
  • Retail sales around the DOT’s first pedestrian plaza on Pearl Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn increased by 172 percent three years after it opened, according to a 2012 DOT analysis of tax receipts.26



1New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, “Summary of Vital Statistics,” (2000-2009): http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/pub/pub.shtml?t=vs

2 New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. (2009). Summary of New York City Motor Vehicle Accidents, 2009. http://dmv.ny.gov/sites/default/files/legacy_files/statistics/2009nycsummary.pdf

3 New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (2012), Understanding Child Injury Deaths: Report from the New York City Child Fatality Review Advisory Team. https://www.nyspcc.org/nyspcc/Resources/2012_Child_Fatality_Report.pdf

4 New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, “Summary of Vital Statistics,” (2000-2009): http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/pub/pub.shtml?t=vs

5 New York City voter opinion research, Penn Schoen & Berland on behalf of Transportation Alternatives, September 11-18, 2013

6 New York City Department of Transportation, (2010). The New York City Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan. Retrieved from website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/nyc_ped

7 New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. (2009). Summary of New York City Motor Vehicle Accidents, 2009. http://dmv.ny.gov/sites/default/files/legacy_files/statistics/2009nycsummary.pdf

8 Rosen, E., & Sander, U. (2009). “Pedestrian Fatality as a Function of Car Impact Speed.” Accident Analysis and Prevention, (41), 531-542.

9 Matt Flegenheimer, “Bill to Reduce Speed Limit to 25 M.P.H. Gains Favor,”New York Times, June 17, 2014 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/18/nyregion/bill-to-reduce-speed-limit-to-25-mph-gains-favor.html?_r=0

10 Grundy, Chris, Rebecca Steinbach, Phil Edwards, Judith Green, Ben Armstrong, and Paul Wilkinson. (2009) "Effect of 20 mph traffic speed zones on road injuries in London, 1986-2006: controlled interrupted time series analysis." British Medical Journal. 339.b4469: 1-6. http://www.bmj.com/content/339/bmj.b4469.pdf+html

11 Wann, John P., Damian R. Poulter, and Catherine Purcell (2011). "Reduced Sensitivity to Visual Looming Inflates the Risk Posed by Speeding Vehicles When Children Try to Cross the Road." Psychological Science. February 2011: 1-6. http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/03/16/0956797611400917

12 Dultz, L. A., Foltin, G., Simon, R., Wall, S. P., Levine, D. A., Bholat, O., Slaughter-Larkem, D., & Jacko, S. (2013). Vulnerable roadway users struck by motor vehicles at the center of the safest, large us city. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, 74 (4), 1138–1145. http://journals.lww.com/jtrauma/Abstract/2013/04000/Vulnerable_roadway_users_struck_by_motor_vehicles.28.aspx

13 New York City Department of Transportation, (2010). The New York City Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan. Retrieved from website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/nyc_ped

14 New York City Department of Transportation. (2014). About DOT. Retrieved from website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/about/about.shtml

15 http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2012-10-measuring-the-street.pdf

16 Ibid.

17 http://www.madebyfriends.co/citibike/

18 http://prattcenter.net/projects/transportation-equity/bus-rapid-transit

19 http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2012-10-measuring-the-street.pdf

20 Ibid.

21 Ibid.

22 http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/dot-economic-benefits-of-sustainable-streets.pdf

23 http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2012-10-measuring-the-street.pdf

24 http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/dot-economic-benefits-of-sustainable-streets.pdf

25 Ibid.

26 Ibid.