NEW YORK - The alarm for safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists is being sounded again, as New York City's streets have seen a shocking increase in traffic fatalities.
According to new data, there has been a 44% increase in traffic fatalities during the first three months of 2022, compared to the same time period last year.
So far, 59 people have been killed on the city's roads this year, with about half of them being pedestrians. Just 41 people had died at this point in 2021.
"These stats are outrageous, they're alarming," said Rita Barravecchio of Families for Safe Streets.
Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives released the latest statistics.
Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero plan, begun in 2014, began redesigning intersections, building protected bike lanes, and lowering the speed limit to 25 on some streets, but the program has not expanded as quickly as many had hoped.
"When Vision Zero began in 2014, we saw many years where crashes were going down, fatalities were going down," said Cory Epstein of Transportation Alternatives. "We need to get Vision Zero back on track."
The two advocacy groups are calling on Mayor Eric Adams to approve over $3B in funding that the City Council has requested and they want Albany to give towns and cities the power to lower speed limits without Albany's approval.
According to city hall, the Department of Transportation is working to increase safety measures and understands that there is still much more to do.