Staten Island in midst of pedestrian safety crisis, study says

Hylan Boulevard is often called Staten Island's "Boulevard of Death" because of how many pedestrians lose their lives while attempting to cross the street.

And now a new study based on insurance data shows that Staten Island is the most dangerous metropolitan area in the country for pedestrians. That seems to be proven by data provided by Transportation Alternatives, which shows New York City's streets are not getting safer.

In fact, during Mayor Bill de Blasio's final year in office, his signature proposal, Vision Zero, may not be working as well as it did when it first launched. During the first four months of 2021, pedestrian crashes were up 65%. Most crashes occurred in Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Last Sunday, on Hylan Blvd, a 19-year-old motorist making a left turn off Hylan Boulevard struck and killed 62-year-old Hongyou Huang.

And these crashes and deaths are happening before the city has fully reopened.

"This is before many more start commuting, before the tourists are back, before the peak spring and summertime," said Cory Epstein, the communications director of Transportation Alternatives.

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The group believes the mayor can do more, such as add more protected bike lanes and pedestrian plazas. And Transportation Alternatives wants lawmakers in Albany to lower the speed limit, grant more speed cameras, and allow the cameras to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In a statement, City Hall said a lot more work needs to be done to "unlock the full power and promise of Vision Zero."

That's why the mayor urged the state legislature today to enact a series of ambitious reforms, like lowering speed limits and letting the city operate 24/7 speed cameras, to crack down on dangerous drivers and keep new yorkers safe," the mayor's office said.