More New Yorkers died in crashes in 2021 than in any other year of former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, data collected by street safety advocates shows.
A record 273 people were killed on the streets of the Big Apple last year, according to groups Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets, marking a morbid end to de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative he started at the start. of his town hall to reduce the road deaths to zero.
“We cannot let another year pass with traffic violence killing record numbers of New Yorkers,” Transportation Alternatives executive director Danny Harris said in a statement Wednesday. “Our leaders must use every tool available to address this preventable public health crisis.”
The number of people killed in crashes rose from 243 in 2020, 220 in 2019 and 206 in 2018, the safest year on the streets of Gotham in recent history, and the number of hit-and-runs has doubled since 2018.
However, the latest figures are still lower than the 299 people killed in 2013 during then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s last year in office.
Last year has repeatedly come close to being the deadliest since de Blasio took office in 2014 and enacted his safe streets policy eight years ago, but the number of deaths and injuries began to rise in 2019 and accidents increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year’s tragic tally includes 124 pedestrians killed, 50 motorcyclists, 19 cyclists and 15 people on mopeds and e-bikes. Some 42% of pedestrian deaths were caused by SUV drivers during de Blasio’s second term and large cars account for 60% of all personal vehicles in the city, according to data from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Brooklyn had the most deaths among the five boroughs with 80 people losing their lives, and the Bronx saw more cyclists killed in 2020 and 2021 than at any time from 2012 to 2019.
Local hotspots for traffic violence include southeast Queens, south Bronx, southwest Brooklyn and central Staten Island.
One of the most shocking cases etched in the memory of New Yorkers last year was a reckless driver who mowed down little Apolline Mong-Guillemin and injured her mother and a man in Brooklyn on 9/11.
Under Mayor Eric Adams, the new commissioner of the Department of Transportation has pledged to better protect half of all plastic-coated bike lanes and redesign 1,000 city intersections where many fatal collisions occur.
“Last year was a tough one for Vision Zero, and this year got off to a rocky start, with a number of road fatalities, many at intersections,” Rodriguez said in a statement accompanying the data release. “We remain relentlessly committed to safer streets, and we will continue to work with our advocacy partners to truly save lives and reverse the dire national death trends here in New York.”
Advocates have called on Adams to quickly implement their past proposal to give a quarter of the city’s cityscape to cyclists and buses and bolster the city’s so-called Dangerous Vehicle Reduction Program to make it easier to seize cars belonging to reckless drivers in series.
The new year has already started with regular fatal crashes, including two downtown fatalities and a serious injury on McGuinness Boulevard in northern Brooklyn on Monday alone, the latter being a notorious highway that Blasio promised to fix.
In a statement, Mayor Eric Adams’ spokesman Charles Lutvak said:
“This cannot and will not continue. We have a plan to make our streets safer across the city, and we are implementing it. »
Former mayor de Blasio did not immediately respond to a request for comment.