Crash Curse: In New York City, traffic deaths are up as enforcement is down.

Link: https://www.city-journal.org/nyc-traffic-deaths-up-as-enforcement-is-down

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Excerpt:

Since the Covid pandemic hit New York City in March 2020, traffic deaths have skyrocketed, just as they have across the country. Locally and nationally, these deaths have paralleled the same double-digit trajectory upward as homicides and drug-overdose deaths. In 2019, 220 New Yorkers died on city streets, near the record low of 206, set the year before. In 2021, 273 people died, a nearly one-quarter increase in two years. In 2022, as of late May, 93 people have died, down slightly from last year, but 12 percent above pre-Covid levels.

….

s in many areas of public safety and public health, New York City started the pandemic with an advantage. In 2019, the city’s 220 traffic deaths—whether people in cars, or pedestrians, or cyclists—represented a per-capita rate of about 2.6 per 100,000 residents, just a small fraction of the 11.1 per 100,000 killed nationwide. Among large, urbanized areas, New York stood out for safety, as well. In Miami-Dade County in 2019, for example, the rate was 11 per 100,000; metro Atlanta’s rate was similar. Even among denser northeastern and mid-Atlantic cities, which have long had lower traffic-death rates than the sprawling south and west, New York performed slightly better than Boston, with its 2.8 traffic deaths per 100,000, and much better than Philadelphia, with its 5.7 deaths per 100,000.

Pre-pandemic, New York’s falling traffic deaths made it a national outlier. Between 2011, when traffic deaths hit a modern low nationwide, and 2019, such fatalities across the country rose by 11.9 percent, to 36,355 annually. In Gotham over this period, by contrast, they fell 12 percent. The difference in pedestrian casualties was especially striking. Nationwide, pedestrian deaths began rising in 2010, after having fallen, reasonably steadily, for at least three decades. By 2019, annual pedestrian deaths had risen from their 2009 low by more than half. But in New York, pedestrian deaths fell by 21.5 percent over the same near-decade.

Author(s): Nicole Gelinas

Publication Date: Summer 2022

Publication Site: City Journal

Dangerous by Design 2022

Link: https://smartgrowthamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Dangerous-By-Design-2022-v3.pdf

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Excerpt:

While the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic
upended many aspects of daily life, including
how people get around, one terrible, long-term
trend was unchanged: the alarming increase in
people being struck and killed while walking.
The number of people struck and killed while
walking has been steadily increasing since 2009,
reaching another new high in 2020 and likely a
historic one in 2021.

More than 6,500 people— nearly 18 per day—
were struck and killed while walking in 2020, a
4.7 percent increase over 2019, even as driving
decreased overall because of the pandemic’s
unprecedented disruptions to travel behavior.1

Publication Date: July 2022

Publication Site: Smart Growth America

US pedestrian deaths are reaching a new high

Link: https://www.popsci.com/technology/pedestrian-deaths-spike-us/

Excerpt:

When thinking of traffic accidents, it would be an understandable reaction to imagine a car crash: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nearly 43,000 people died in 2021 on US roads. That’s a 10.5 percent jump from 2020 and the most fatalities since 2005. But pedestrian deaths are another form of traffic accident—and those rates are rising, fast. 

new study from Smart Growth America, an urban development-focused nonprofit, found that the number of pedestrian fatalities spiked more than 60 percent in the last decade. In 2020 alone, more than 6,500 people were struck and killed by vehicles—a record high that equates to nearly 18 people dying every day. And despite fewer cars on the road during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of pedestrian deaths might have been even higher in 2021, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Preliminary data from GHSA suggests that roughly 7,500 people were killed last year. If confirmed, this would be the highest number in 40 years. 

The study also presents new data identifying the deadliest metro areas and states for pedestrians. That the US experiences more pedestrian deaths than any other high-income nation isn’t random, researchers from Smart Growth America say. It’s by design.

Author(s): MARIA PARAZO ROSE

Publication Date: 16 Jul 2022

Publication Site: Popular Science