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New York’s five boroughs scene of most pedestrian fatalities

Between 2011 and 2013, more than 60 percent of pedestrian fatalities in New York City, Long Island and the five counties just north of New York City took place in the city according to a recent Tri-State Transportation Campaign report. Efforts in New York City to decrease this toll have garnered success but have not eliminated this fatal problem.

New York City had 453 of the 732 pedestrian deaths in this geographic area. The Grand Concourse in the Bronx, Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn and Woodhaven Boulevard in Queens hold the distinction of claiming the most lives in the city between 2011 and 2013.

The Grand Concourse and Flatbush Avenue were both ranked the third most dangerous roadways and had 10 fatalities each. Queens’ Woodhaven Boulevard and Merrick Road in Nassau County were tied for fourth, each had nine deaths.

Queen Boulevard earned the informal designation as the Boulevard of Death. From no reported deaths in 2011, it suffered three fatalities in 2012 and five deaths in 2013.

New York City implemented its Vision Zero safety campaign in 2014 to combat this problem. It recorded the lowest number of pedestrian deaths in the five boroughs, 138, in the year that campaign started. The city lowered its speed limit, installed pedestrian safety cameras in specified locations, and approved legislation that sanctions drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians.

The Department of Transportation recently introduced a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan for each borough. The plan sets safety upgrade priorities for identified accident-prone corridors and intersections that will include redesigning streets to slow traffic, increased police enforcement and changing traffic lights to allow more time for pedestrians to cross.

While there has been success with combating pedestrian deaths in vehicle accidents, this problem will likley persist. Victims of a reckless or negligent driver and their families should seek prompt legal assistance to help safeguard their rights to just compensation for serious injuries and other losses.

Source: New York Daily News, “60% of downtown pedestrian fatalities were in New York City area, study says, as deBlasio’s Vision Zero program touts recent reduction in death rate,” Pete Donahue, March 4, 2015