Safe streets need to be a top priority
Dec 17, 2013 | 14351 views | 0 0 comments | 742 742 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As the city's population continues to grow, New York's streets are becoming more and more crowded and dangerous for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians alike.

Just the last year, the city saw a 2 percent population growth, according to census figures.

Recent reports from Transportation Alternatives, a non-profit transportation advocacy group, New Yorkers are killed in a crash every 33 hours. The report also shows drivers and pedestrians either lose a limb, is seriously injured or permanently disabled every three hours.

Even more disturbing, the same report shows that more people were killed in the city due to traffic incidents than murdered by guns between 2001 and 2012.

The Department of Transportation reported last year that traffic deaths were up 23 percent from 2011 to 2012, reaching nearly 291.

While the current Bloomberg administration often uses the defense that deaths are down by 30 percent in the last 10 years, the report looks at a recent spike that shows 176 bicyclists and pedestrians were killed in crashes in 2012, up from 158 in 2011.

The DOT also reports that 115 motorists were killed as a result to traffic accidents in 2012, up from just 78 the year before.

This year, nearly 20 percent of the emergency room visits at Elmhurst Hospital were related to traffic and pedestrian accidents, and doctors at the hospital are calling on police to tighten enforcement on cell phone use to reduce those numbers.

In response, Queens residents took to the streets over the weekend with Transportation Alternatives members to rally for a full review of Queens Boulevard over the weekend.

And at a Community Board 1 meeting in Brooklyn last week, Transportation Alternatives representatives highlighted how the streets in East Williamsburg and becoming increasingly unfriendly for pedestrians.

And in Long Island City, residents of an apartment building there held a press conference with their council members calling on DOT to take safety measures because they are afraid of crossing the street.

In this week's issues of our eight newspapers, we have no less than four stories related to dangerous roads.

Get the picture yet?

Taking into account the recent spike in deaths over the last several years, the city needs to take action and look into ways of improving our roadways to better suit the growing population and make them safer for everyone.

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