It’s a grim milestone that Danny Harris, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, only expects to get worse.
“People who are walking, people who are biking, people who are driving, people who are on motorcycles, those who are using our streets are doing so at increased risk,” Harris explains.
By this date last year, 188 New Yorkers were killed in crashes, while 175 were killed during the same period in 2018.
Some believe this year’s spike is due in part to the pandemic and cite speeding on local highways.
Robert Sinclair Jr., Senior Manager of Public Affairs for AAA Northeast says there are also “far more vehicles on the road now, compared to during the lockdown and even after the lockdown when things started to open up.”
Others, like Hsi-Pei Liao, believe the uptick is due to the city slashing funding for crucial safe streets programs like Vision Zero, which mayor DeBlasio implemented back in 2014.
Liao, whose daughter was run over by a car in 2013, is a founding member of Families for Safe Streets.
However, the Department of Transportation refuted the data, telling FOX 5 NY in a statement: “Some cases are later classified not as traffic deaths and are removed from the total as “fatal-related” cases because factors other than the crash itself are determined to have caused the fatality.”
A spokesman says that 2020 has been the safest year on record for pedestrians.
The city says it’s implementing the largest speed camera program in the world, lowering speed limits on major corridors and expanding open space and car-free transit options.
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