By Amanda Li, B.A., Junior Policy Associate
The bad news? Between 2005 and 2014, there were 3,007 pedestrian deaths in New York State. The good news? New York’s Pedestrian Death Index has decreased since 2014, meaning that it has become safer for pedestrians. This is despite the fact that, on average, states across the nation have actually become more dangerous for pedestrians since 2014. According to the Dangerous by Design 2016 Report, in 2016, New York State ranked as the 14th safest state for pedestrians. Great work New York State!
To celebrate the fact that New York has become a safer place for pedestrians, let’s take a look at some of the milestones we achieved over the past few years in terms of creating safe and complete streets for everyone to use, regardless of age or ability.
- In August of 2011, the Complete Streets Act was signed by Governor Cuomo. It required agencies at the local, county, and state levels to take into account the safety, convenience, and mobility of everyone when they develop transportation projects using government funding.
- In June of 2016, Governor Cuomo declared the very first New York State Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. The plan will span over five years, involve multiple-agencies, and provide $110 million for the improvement of pedestrian safety via three initiatives: improvements in infrastructure, public education, and enforcement. The New York State Department of Transportation is taking lead on the infrastructure improvements, the State Department of Health is working to implement awareness campaigns and public education programming on pedestrian safety, and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee is focusing on increasing law enforcement.
- In 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City created the Vision Zero program, which aims to reduce traffic fatalities by 50% by 2025. The Vision Zero Action Plan outlines 121 initiatives on making our streets safer. Initiatives that have been successfully completed thus far include incorporating a Vision Zero curriculum for students in grades 4-6, standardizing signage regarding vehicle safety, increasing enforcement on impaired driving, providing focused training on safety awareness to bus operators, and expanding the use of technology around collision avoidance among many others.
- As highlighted in this prior DASH-NY blog post, Ogdensbury, NY ranked number one in its policies on Complete Streets in 2014!
Complete Streets is an integral part of DASH-NY’s priority to create Active Communities. We are excited by the progress that has been made and proud of New York for becoming a safer place for pedestrians. As part of DASH-NY’s 2017 policy priorities, we hope to establish dedicated state funding for Complete Streets and continue the great work that’s been done.