NEW YORK- Abc7ny.com writes that New York City has seen more traffic fatalities in 2019 than in all previous years since the start of the Vision Zero initiative. Mayor Bill de Blasio started Vision Zero in 2014 with the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities in the city by the year 2024. Each year, the number of deaths has dropped indicating that the program was making progress.
With a sharp spike in traffic deaths this year, the city is left wondering what went wrong. Many are blaming the trouble on congested roadways and individuals who fail to share the roadway with others.
Cameras set up to monitor traffic in the city showed every category or road user violating the city’s rules. While drivers blame cyclists and cyclists blame drivers, the footage shows some cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers are violating the rules and creating dangerous situations. No one group can be blamed for the problem. The cameras caught pedestrians crossing the road while looking at their phones, drivers running through intersections, and cyclists violating red lights and riding against the flow of traffic.
In a busy city full of distractions, it is incredibly difficult to determine the biggest risks. What is clear is that deaths are increasing. Vehicle occupant fatalities are up 32 percent, pedestrian deaths by 11 percent, and cyclist fatalities by a staggering 150 percent.
The New York City Council recently passed a bill dedicating $1.7 billion to road safety. The plan will include hundreds of miles of protected bike lanes, 150 miles of bus lanes, and improved intersection design to protect pedestrians. While the plan is not without its critics, the city council says it is trying to save countless lives.
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