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NYC: Making Safer Streets

Posted by Content Coordinator on Tuesday, November 26th, 2013


NYC: Making Safer StreetsOver the past decade, New York City has seen a 30% decline in traffic fatalities, the lowest level since records were first kept in 1910, making New York City’s streets the safest of any big city in the United States. 

NYCDOT is committed to continuing to improve the safety of our streets, with a goal of cutting traffic fatalities in half by 2030.

Making streets safer requires more than the traditional “3 Es” of engineering, education, and enforcement. It also requires working closely with local communities to collaboratively plan changes in how streets are designed and operated. And it requires learning from our successes to identify and implement the most effective approaches to street design.

This report focuses on how smart and innovative street design can dramatically improve the safety of our streets. The results reported here are based on “before and after” comparisons of crash data for projects implemented in the last seven years. This analysis is the largest examination of the safety effects of innovative roadway engineering conducted in a major American city, or perhaps any city globally. 

This detailed quantitative analysis is possible only because of the breadth of innovation that NYCDOT has brought to NYC streets, and the community support these changes have garnered. The City and its residents can use these results to continue to work collaboratively to make safer streets throughout the five boroughs.

This report:

  • Focuses on how street redesigns can dramatically improve safety for all users.
  • Presents quantitative assessment of projects based on before and after comparisons of crash data of projects implemented by the agency in the last seven years.
  • Contains results that, for the first time, are based on a large number of projects involving a range of street redesigns, in a NYC-specific context.
  • Highlights how signals, street geometry, markings, and signs can be used to make streets function better and more safely, and improve not only safety but also the attractiveness and usability of the street for pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists. 
  • Illustrates benefits of NYCDOT’s innovative approach to street re-engineering using protected bicycle paths, dedicated lanes for buses, through traffic and turns, signal timing changes, network redesigns, and other treatments. 

Figure 1: Traffic fatalities in New York City

Download full version (PDF): Making Safer Streets

About the New York City Department of Transportation
“DOT’s mission is to provide for the safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible movement of people and goods in the City of New York and to maintain and enhance the transportation infrastructure crucial to the economic vitality and quality of life of our primary customers, City residents. Our agency’s work is guided by Sustainable Streets, the Strategic Plan for the New York City Department of Transportation. We are customer-driven in all our activities. We seek opportunities to create partnerships in the provision of transportation services through appropriate relationships and alliances.”


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