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FHWA Home / Safety / Vision Zero in New York City

Vision Zero in New York City

FHWA-SA-19-007

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road in NYC with a green bike and pedestrian lane, with Citi Bikes racked on the right.

Source: Getty Images

Problem

Walking and biking are two modes of travel that have rapidly gained in popularity in New York City (NYC)–in fact, NYC has seen bicycling activity quadruple over the last decade.1 Contributing to this rise is the "Citi Bike" program, NYC's bikeshare system, which accounted for nearly 14 million bicycle trips in 2016. However, non-motorized transportation modes are not without risk. In 2013, the city experienced 178 pedestrian fatalities and 134 bicyclist fatalities.2 The following year, NYC adopted Vision Zero.

Solution

NYC has implemented a 5-year approach (2014-2019) to achieve Vision Zero that incorporates "Complete Streets" design, outreach, enforcement, legislation, and informational campaigns. Key to successful implementation has been the cooperation and integration of efforts between various city departments and State agencies. These include the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), the New York City Police Department (NYPD), the District Attorney's Offices for the five counties located in New York City, the New York City Law Department, the New York City Office of Management and Budget, and the State-run Metropolitan Transit Authority.

In 2016, the city spent $160 million to implement Vision Zero. Following are some of the key activities and achievements.

Road in NYC has a bike lane on the right marked for bicyclists, and crosswalks for pedestrians.

Pavement markings separating pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers near the corner of Knickerbocker and Greene Avenues in Brooklyn. From the 2017 New York City Safer Cycling report, http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/bike-safety-study-fullreport2017.pdf.

Street Design

Outreach

Left map shows all traffic fatalities in NYC in 2017, scattered throughout the city. Right map shows pedestrian fatalities in NYC in 2017, mostly in Manhattan and Queens, with some in Brooklyn and the Bronx, and few in Staten Island.

(left) Vision Zero map showing all-traffic fatalities in New York City in 2017. (right) Vision Zero Map showing pedestrian fatalities in New York City in 2017.

Source: http://www.nycvzv.info/.

Enforcement

Legislation

Campaigns

Early Successes

Vision Zero is an ambitious goal. By adopting it, NYC committed to eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries. The city has seen very positive results in a number of areas where solutions were implemented, even though the program is in its early stages. A portion of funding for the Vision Zero program came from the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), which is an FHWA program that provides funding for safety projects. The HSIP in New York is administered by the New York State Department of Transportation.

Highlights include the following:

1 Mayor Bill de Blasio, Vision Zero Action Plan 2014, https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/visionzero/downloads/pdf/nyc-vision-zeroaction-plan.pdf, pg. 24. [ Return to note 1. ]

2 Mayor Bill de Blasio, Bicycle Crash Data Report 2013, http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2013-bicycle-crash-datareport.pdf, pg. 2. [ Return to note 2. ]

3 Mayor Bill de Blasio, Vision Zero Action Plan 2014, https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/visionzero/downloads/pdf/nyc-vision-zeroaction-plan.pdf, pg. 24, 25. [ Return to note 3. ]

Page last modified on September 24, 2019
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