A decade in, pedestrian deaths dip under Vision Zero

A decade ago, New York became the first American city to adopt the “Vision Zero” approach to traffic safety, which looks to eliminate road deaths through infrastructure and enforcement changes that would slow vehicles to make crashes less common and less deadly.

The city is nowhere near achieving perfection: The same number of people died in traffic crashes in 2014, the first year of the program, as in 2023.

But at a time when traffic deaths in the rest of the country are up 30% from a decade ago, New York’s record stands apart…

The city was an early adopter of practices that are increasingly common in U.S. cities. Department of Transportation crews installed flex posts and bollards to slow drivers as they make left turns. They also reconfigured nearly 6,000 stoplights to give pedestrians a head start in crosswalks before vehicles can move. New York officials and advocates also lobbied state lawmakers to lower the city’s speed limit and install dozens of speed cameras.

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