Most New Yorkers already know to be aware and careful when they’re near the city’s busiest roads, particularly ones that get frequently used by cyclists and pedestrians. In contrast to these busy, multi-lane intersections, it is easy to assume that quiet, residential roadways in your local neighborhood experience lower rates of traffic accidents.
However, a new report from Localize.city, a real estate website that looks to arm New York residents with critical information about different neighborhoods or boroughs they are considering moving to, highlights residential roads where pedestrians and cyclists suffer unusually high rates of traffic accidents.
Devastating Traffic Accidents Can Happen Anywhere
There’s a certain level of comfort that takes over when you are home or in a familiar neighborhood, because you’ve been there countless times before. But sadly, just because you are in a familiar area does not mean you are safe from traffic accidents. In fact, studies have shown that 72% of child pedestrian deaths occur within 10 blocks of the home.
This is just one reason why it’s critical that New Yorkers be aware of traffic risks within their own neighborhoods and remain mindful of traffic no matter where they are. “[D]angerous driving can, and does, still happen on quiet neighborhood streets,” said Alon Goldstein, an urban planner for Localize.
Localize’s team looked at single-lane intersections where high numbers of pedestrians and cyclists were injured between 2013 and 2018–an average of one injury-causing crash every nine months. Their report identified four “hot spots” that had the most crashes on neighborhood streets between 2013 and 2018:
1. Williamsburg, Brooklyn – The report identified two dangerous clusters near the Williamsburg Bridge, where many bikes, pedestrians and vehicles are funneled into a narrow space. 24 people, mostly cyclists, were injured in these areas between 2013 and 2018.
2. The Lower East Side, Manhattan – Rivington Street proved to be dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. 11 people were injured at Rivington and Ludlow Street, while 7 were hurt at Rivington and Clinton Street.
3. North Corona, Queens – 37th Avenue and 101st Street is Queens’ most dangerous intersection for cyclists and pedestrians. The Department of Transportation designated the surrounding area as a “slow zone” in 2012 and lowered the speed limit to 20 miles per hour. However, the effectiveness of slow zones is in question, as this area has seen 12 traffic-related injuries in the last five years.
4. Ditmas Park, Brooklyn – Newkirk Avenue in Ditmas Park presents many potential hazards that injured 13 people during the time frame studied. At Newkirk Avenue and Argyle Road, many cars make fast left turns without yielding to pedestrians because there is no stop sign. Motorists reported limited visibility, and a nearby public school often brings crowds of pedestrians.
For more detail, view the Localize report. You can also search your address to learn more about traffic safety issues in your neighborhood.
Making New York Streets Safer
As we discussed on our blog in January, Vision Zero is still an ongoing process-while traffic fatalities overall were down last year, pedestrian fatalities actually rose 6.5% in 2018. Hopefully, new initiatives from the recently-released Borough Pedestrian Safety Action Plans help to make the City safer than it has ever been.
Whether you drive, bike, or walk, it is always best to observe traffic laws, heed posted signs and remain vigilant as we all work to make New York a safer place to work, live and travel in.