After a five year reduction in traffic deaths, which perhaps not coincidentally enough corresponded to a noticeable rise in fuel prices, New York City has seen it's first increase in road fatalities since 2007. Not surprisingly, some city officials are considering a rethink of the infrastructure changes recently installed by Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. I find three things of interest here:
1. Sadik-Khan claims that zombie-not-so-smart phone behavior is involved here.
2. Sadik-Khan also claims that most of the increase in fatalities is occurring on roadways far removed from the infrastructure changes. However, there has still been a measurable increase in cyclist and pedestrian deaths. Whatever happened to our safety in numbers?
3. Well, I'll just quote from the article:So, is this just an uptick on an overall downward trend, or is there something else going on here?Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, a cycling and pedestrian advocacy group, called the new statistics “alarming” and attributed much of the uptick to what he deemed lax police enforcement of traffic laws.
“Anyone who walks or bikes across a New York City street knows that motorists are getting away with reckless driving, day in, day out,” he said.
By the way, if someone finds a breakdown in the pedestrian/cyclist death figure that separates peds and cyclists, please give it up.