This blog tries to report regularly on significant motor vehicle accidents in New York City. However, going beyond the headlines in NYC’s three major newspapers can be a challenge. One web developer has taken it upon himself to massage the data released by NYPD into a geo-coded map that allows visitors to the web site, NYC Crashmapper, to see at a glance the locations of car, bike and pedestrian accidents.
Getting the information was not easy until about February 2012, when the New York City Council insisted that the police department make accident information available to the public. However, it was not geo-coded, so developer John Krauss began doing it himself.
Crashmapper shows the location of motor vehicle accidents reported to the NYPD every month since August 2011. It also provides data on the number of people involved, the types of injuries, and the type of accident – vehicle, pedestrian or bicycle. The interactive map provides both a quick and detailed view of where and when crashes occur.
The worst intersections for accidents are generally the busiest. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, the Holland Tunnel connectors, and intersections around Flushing and Main Street in Queens have the highest rate of vehicle crashes.
Pedestrian accidents occur most frequently in densely populated areas such as Midtown East, according to Crashmapper. However, an area like Fulton Mall, which is usually jammed with pedestrians, is not so dangerous because the streets in the immediate area are limited to bus-only traffic.
According to Krauss, a particular street or intersection is vulnerable to accidents for a variety of reasons related to population density, traffic patterns, traffic volume, and other factors. He maintains Crashmapper to put pressure on the city to improve the design and traffic flow at dangerous intersections.
Source: Wired, “Visualizing New York’s Road Accidents With the Interactive ‘Crashmapper’,” by Damon Lavrinc, Aug. 2, 2013.
Visit Crashmapper at http://nyc.crashmapper.com/11/8/13/6/standard/collisions/2/13/40.767/-