“Yes, there are always accidents here. Here, downstairs, in the park, in the corners, always,” said Julio Vera from Corona.
This year marks a decade since the Department of Transportation adopted the Vision Zero campaign, whose goal is to reduce traffic deaths in New York to zero.
An analysis by the nonprofit Transportation Alternatives confirms that the program is effective—making streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists by redesigning roads, reducing speed limits, and installing more than 2,000 road safety cameras.
Figures show that traffic deaths have decreased by 16% since the program was implemented, a difference of at least 450 lives.
Despite this, the data reveals differences:
While communities with larger white populations and greater purchasing power have safer streets, low-income communities and communities of color experience an increase in traffic violence.
“In places like Corona, parts of Queens, Brooklyn, or the Bronx, we’re still seeing an increase in some deaths and how Latino communities have increased by 30%. In some communities. No, that’s fair,” said Juan Restrepo, of Transportation Alternatives.
And the organization says that New York’s cycling infrastructure has not kept up with the increase in bicycle use and that nearly 100% of cyclist deaths in the first decade of Vision Zero occurred on streets with no infrastructure to protect those cyclists.
“2023 is the most dangerous year to use the bicycle before the Vision Zero period. And that means we still have changes we need to make to improve the streets,” added Restrepo.
And here in Corona, the highest increase in deaths due to road accidents was seen, which was 125% per 10 thousand residents. Other affected communities include Flatbush in Brooklyn and Morningside Heights in Manhattan.
“Sometimes when you want to pass, they won’t let you pass, they won’t let you pass, or there’s always an argument about anything about traffic,” said Milixa Caceda.
“Sometimes the drivers too; many of the drivers are to blame,” added Vera.
The Department of Transportation said: “Our commitment to equity influences where we prioritize our work, evaluating neighborhood race and income, density, and the history of past projects.”
And Transportation Alternatives reiterated that the program is working, but to achieve zero deaths, it must be effectively implemented in all neighborhoods of the city.